08/01/2003
Press Release
AFR/541
SC/7626



PRESS STATEMENT ON CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT


Following is the press statement on the Central African Republic made today by Security Council President Jean-Marc de La Sablière (France):


Members of the Security Council heard a briefing by the Representative of the Secretary-General in the Central African Republic, General Lamine Cissé.  They reiterated their total support for his work as head of the United Nations Peace-Building Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) in the current difficult circumstances.


Members of the Council recalled their opposition to any attempt to seize power by force.  They noted with satisfaction President Patassé’s appeal for a national dialogue in his statement of 25 November 2002 and welcomed the recent establishment of the nationaldialogue coordination committee.  They also welcomed the tabling of a bill on freedom of the press.  They encouraged the Central African authorities to create the conditions for a comprehensive and all-inclusive dialogue.  They requested the Secretary-General to continue providing support and assistance in this area.


Members of the Council welcomed the ongoing deployment of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community force under the leadership of Gabon, and with the logistical and financial support of France.  They paid tribute to the members of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) for their efforts.  They called upon all Member States to provide financial or logistical support to the force.


Members of the Security Council noted with satisfaction the commitment made by Chad and the Central African Republic to implement fully and without delay all theprovisions of the agreement signed in Libreville under the auspices of the President of Gabon, El Hadj Omar Bongo.  They welcomed the decision by the two parties to convene without delaythe joint commission in Libreville and urged them to use it to make substantial progress in their bilateral relations.


They expressed their continued interest in the human rights situation in the Central African Republic and also their support for the activities of BONUCA, in this respect.


Members of the Security Council called upon the donor community to consider with solicitude the exceptional situation the Central African Republic is facing today.


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