The rebels reportedly captured the northern city of Bambari on Sunday, having earlier seized the area around Bria, and are now said to be advancing toward the capital, Bangui. “These developments gravely undermine the peace agreements in place and the efforts of the international community to consolidate peace in the Central African Republic,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said a statement issued on Wednesday night. “The Secretary-General deeply regrets the loss of life and population displacement caused by the fighting,” the spokesperson added. He further noted that Mr. Ban appealed to all parties to refrain from “any acts of violence against civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence,” and to ensure the protection of civilians and to respect human rights, in conformity with international instruments to which CAR is a party. The UN chief also urged all parties to abide by the decisions of the Summit of the Heads of State of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), held in the Chadian capital of N’Djamena on 21 December, which provide a basis for a peaceful resolution of the dispute. In addition, the Secretary-General reminded the CAR Government of its responsibility to ensure the safety and security of UN personnel and its premises. The world body is temporarily relocating dependents and non-essential staff amid the latest violence. “The temporary relocation is a precautionary measure to reduce our presence in the event the security situation further deteriorates in Bangui,” said UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky. “The decision is temporary and will not detract from the ability of the United Nations to continue its support to the peace consolidation and development efforts in the Central African Republic.” Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the CAR (BINUCA), Margaret Vogt, continues to engage the Government and the rebel leaders with a view to ensuring a ceasefire and initiating dialogue, as recommended by ECCAS on 21 December. Earlier this month, Ms. Vogt condemned all violations of the 2008 peace accord which helped bring a degree of stability to CAR, which has a history of political instability and recurring armed conflict. State authority is weak in many parts of the country, which are largely controlled by rebel groups and criminal armed groups, according to the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA). BINUCA had played a key role in encouraging the signing of the so-called Libreville Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government and three main rebel groups, as well as the holding in December 2008 of the Inclusive Political Dialogue between the Government, rebel groups, the political opposition, civil society and other relevant stakeholders. In yesterday’s statement, Mr. Ban confirmed the UN’s readiness to continue to support CAR in overcoming challenges to the consolidation of peace, in collaboration with regional and international partners.
Enlarge ImageCuriosity snapped this charming selfie of its “head” in early 2018. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS It can be hard enough to troubleshoot a computer that’s right in front of you. NASA has to manage the process on another planet as the Curiosity rover continues to experience glitches on Mars. The latest problem prompted the rover team to switch computers entirely.NASA issued an update on Tuesday saying Curiosity’s Side-A computer experienced a reset on March 6, triggering the rover’s safe mode. This is the second time the computer unexpectedly reset in the last three weeks. NASA called the February incident a “hiccup during boot-up.” The agency says the resets were related to the computer’s memory.Curiosity got back to science operations, but the new issue prompted NASA to switch the rover over to its Side-B computer, which it had been using for most of the mission. A memory glitch in late 2018 caused NASA to switch the rover’s “brains” from Side-B to Side-A. Now we’re back to Side-B. Post a comment Sci-Tech Mars rovers NASA Space 0 17 Photos Share your voice Tags NASA Mars rover Curiosity back to work after mystery snafu NASA Mars rover Curiosity hiccups, takes a break from science Curiosity faces challenges The rover team reformatted the Side-B computer to isolate bad memory areas. NASA hopes this will cure its 2018 issues. Curiosity is now out of safe mode once again and is ready to resume science operations as soon as Wednesday.Curiosity has survived technical snafus before and is the only remaining rover still functioning on Mars. NASA declared an end to the Opportunity rover mission in February, months after a dust storm blotted out its solar panels. NASA intends to send a companion to the Red Planet with the planned launch of the Mars 2020 rover, but we’re all watching Curiosity’s adventures and misadventures with an eagle eye until the next rover arrives. NASA Opportunity rover witnessed the wild side of Mars