6 November 1997


Press Release
SC/6439



ACTING UNDER CHAPTER VII, COUNCIL EXTENDS MANDATE OF MONITORING MISSION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC FOR THREE MONTHS, FROM TODAY

19971106
Resolution 1136 (1997), Adopted Unanimously, Asks Secretary-General to Set Up Trust Fund for MISAB

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council this afternoon authorized Member States participating in the Inter-African Mission to Monitor the Implementation of the Bangui Agreements (MISAB), as well as those States providing logistical support, to ensure the security and freedom of movement of their personnel for an additional three months, beginning today.

By its unanimous adoption of resolution 1136 (1997), the Council asked the Member States participating in MISAB to report to the Security Council at least every month through the Secretary-General, with the first report due one month from today. It also asked the Secretary-General to report before the end of the three-month period on the implementation of today's resolution, including recommendations on further international support for the Central African Republic.

Recalling that the expenses and logistical support for MISAB will be borne on a voluntary basis in accordance with its mandate, the Council asked the Secretary-General to establish a Trust Fund for the Central African Republic to assist in supporting troops of States participating in MISAB and in providing logistical support to them. It encouraged Member States to contribute to that Fund.

The Council welcomed the efforts of the Member States participating in MISAB as well of those States which provided support to them. It approved continued conduct of the operation in a neutral and impartial way to facilitate the return to peace and security by monitoring implementation of the Bangui Agreements. Those efforts include supervising the surrender of arms by former mutineers, militias and all others unlawfully bearing arms.

Stressing the importance of regional stability, the Council urged all States, international organizations and financial institutions to assist in post-conflict development in the Central African Republic. It welcomed the


support provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and encouraged it to continue that support.

The MISAB was deployed in Bangui on 8 February. Member States in the force are Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Mali, Senegal and Togo. The Mission was set up in January at the request of the Central African Republic following army rebellions.

Speaking prior to adoption of today's resolution, the Permanent Representative of the Central African Republic, Antonio Diende Fernandez, expressed confidence that with the great wisdom of the members of the Council, a solution would be found before February for the continuation of MISAB. He pledged his Government's full cooperation to promote the cause of peace and democracy and to create a better life for all the people of the Central African Republic.

The meeting, which was called to order at 12:24 p.m., was adjourned at 12:31 p.m.

Report of Monitoring Committee

In its consideration of the situation in the Central African Republic, the Council had before it the sixth periodic report of the International Monitoring Committee established pursuant to the mandate of the Inter-African Mission to Monitor the Implementation of the Bangui Agreements (MISAB) (document S/1997/828).

The report, which covers the period from 16 to 30 October 1997, was requested by the Council in its resolution 1125 (1997) of 6 August 1997. In it, the Monitoring Committee recommends that MISAB's mandate be extended for a further three-month period, beginning on 6 November when the current mandate expires, so that it might continue to ensure security and complete its peace- building mission. The report states that while there has been undeniable progress in implementing the Bangui Agreements, there is a long way to go in carrying out all of their main provisions.

Owing to the insufficiency of the African countries' own resources, logistical support from the international community along the lines of that provided to MISAB by France is still needed, the report states. The Committee can help to pave the way for the conduct of transparent elections and peaceful and orderly electoral campaigns. Peace must be consolidated by taking into account all of the Committee's suggestions.

The Monitoring Committee has adopted a plan of action including the following elements: formation of a government of national union; adoption of an amnesty law covering those who committed offences in the context of the third rebellion; disarmament; implementation of the recommendations of the General Meeting on National Defence; resolution of the situation regarding the


Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6439 3829th Meeting (PM) 6 November 1997

former heads of State; suspension of the parliamentary audit; and national reconciliation.

The new electoral code recently produced by a national commission which included representatives of all political viewpoints has given rise to a disagreement over the presidency of the National Electoral Commission, the report states. The Group of Eleven Opposition Parties has requested the International Monitoring Committee to arbitrate in the matter.

In citing the necessity of renewing MISAB's mandate, the Committee states that while most of the weapons taken from the State armouries during the third rebellion have been returned, suspicions remain regarding other weapons which were illegally imported by the political parties and are still not accounted for. The social situation in the country remains tense. While mediation efforts have achieved encouraging results in the political, military and security areas, the situation in the social sphere continues to be problematical. The Committee's analysis of the situation coincides with the views expressed by the population of Bangui in general and with those of the political community in particular. There is unanimous support for the maintenance of the Committee for a further three-month period.

The International Monitoring Committee to supervise implementation of the Bangui Agreements, chaired by the former President of Mali, General Amadou Toumani Toure, is the body which directs the actions of MISAB. It receives political guidance from the heads of State concerned and especially from Omar Bongo, President of Gabon and Chairman of the International Mediation Committee.

Also before the Council is a letter from President Bongo on behalf of the heads of States with contingents in MISAB (document S/1997/821), and one from the President of the Central African Republic, Ange-Félix Patasse (document S/1997/840), asking the Council to extend the MISAB's mandate for an additional three months.

Significant progress has been made since the adoption of Council's resolution 1125 (1997), President Patasse states. A climate of de-escalation and detente currently prevails in Bangui and has led to the resumption of activities in all sectors. He says that resolution 1125 is considered a guarantee of the security which the Committee and MISAB are helping to restore, both in the capital and in the interior of the country. The newly restored peace deserves to be consolidated -- especially in view of the forthcoming legislative elections to be held in 1998 and the presidential elections scheduled for 1999.


Security Council - 4 - Press Release SC/6439 3829th Meeting (PM) 6 November 1997

Resolution Adopted

The text of resolution 1136 (1997) reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its resolution 1125 (1997) of 6 August 1997,

"Taking note of the sixth report sent to the Security Council by the International Committee for the follow-up of the Bangui Agreements (S/1997/828, annex),

"Taking note of the letter dated 17 October 1997 from the President of the Central African Republic to the Secretary-General (S/1997/840, annex),

"Taking note further of the letter dated 23 October 1997 to the President of the Security Council from the President of Gabon, on behalf of the members of the International Committee for the follow-up of the Bangui Agreements (S/1997/821, annex),

"Expressing appreciation for the neutral and impartial way in which the Inter-African Mission to Monitor the Implementation of the Bangui Agreements (MISAB) has carried out its mandate, in close cooperation with the Central African authorities and noting with satisfaction that MISAB has contributed to stabilizing the situation in the Central African Republic, in particular through the supervision of the surrendering of arms,

"Noting that the States participating in MISAB and the Central African Republic have decided to extend its mandate (S/1997/561, appendix I) in order to complete its mission,

"Stressing the importance of regional stability and, in this context, fully supporting the efforts made by the Member States participating in the International Mediation Committee established by the Nineteenth Summit Meeting of Heads of State and Government of France and Africa, and by the members of the International Committee for the follow-up of the Bangui Agreements,

"Stressing also the need for all signatories of the Bangui Agreements to continue to cooperate fully in respecting and implementing these Agreements,

"Determining that the situation in the Central African Republic continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

"1. Welcomes the efforts made by the Member States which participate in MISAB and of those Member States which provide support to them, and their readiness to maintain these efforts;


Security Council - 5 - Press Release SC/6439 3829th Meeting (PM) 6 November 1997

"2. Welcomes the support provided by the United Nations Development Programme to the International Committee for the follow-up of the Bangui Agreements and encourages it to continue this support;

"3. Approves the continued conduct by Member States participating in MISAB of the operation in a neutral and impartial way to achieve its objective as set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1125 (1997);

"4. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, authorizes the Member States participating in MISAB and those States providing logistical support to ensure security and freedom of movement of their personnel;

"5. Decides that the authorization referred to in paragraph 4 above will be limited to a period of three months from the adoption of this resolution;

"6. Recalls that the expenses and logistical support for MISAB will be borne on a voluntary basis in accordance with article 11 of the mandate of MISAB, requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to establish a Trust Fund for the Central African Republic which would assist in supporting troops of States participating in MISAB and in providing logistical support to them, and encourages Member States to contribute to the Trust Fund;

"7. Requests the Member States participating in MISAB to provide periodic reports to the Security Council at least every month through the Secretary-General, the next report to be made within one month of the adoption of this resolution;

"8. Requests the Secretary-General to provide a report before the end of the three-month period referred to in paragraph 5 above, on the implementation of this resolution, including recommendations on further international support for the Central African Republic;

"9. Urges all States, international organizations and financial institutions to assist in post-conflict development in the Central African Republic;

"10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."

* *** *