26 September 2014 Member States must continue to assist the Central African Republic (CAR) as it lifts itself back up from the devastation of conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared today as he called on the international community to assist the beleaguered African country “chart a path to reconstruction, reconciliation, and the rule of law.”
“The partnership between the international community and the Central African Republic must be rooted in mutual accountability,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared in his opening remarks at the high-level meeting on the CAR, held on the margins of the annual General Assembly debate.
“We must mobilize to support economic recovery and stabilization to meet urgent security and humanitarian needs,” Mr. Ban urged, adding that the global community had the “opportunity to help and an obligation to act.”
In January 2014, the CAR was plunged into fighting, fuelled by what are believed to be inter-communal retaliatory attacks between the Anti-balaka and Séléka rebel groups, after the latter were ousted from power.
According to the latest estimates, 500,000 people are internally displaced and 483,000 people have crossed the borders since the beginning of the crisis while 15,000 minorities continue to remain at high risk.
On 10 April 2014, the Security Council approved the full deployment of MINUSCA, the UN’s integrated mission to the country, which will prioritize the protection of civilians and facilitation of the political process, including implementation of provisions of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, signed on 23 July 2014, and setting up a mechanism to investigate violations.
Turning to his visit to the CAR in April, the Secretary-General recalled the “utter devastation and desperation” he encountered.
He noted that despite the “important progress” achieved since the cessation in hostilities, there was still “much work ahead” as thousands remained displaced, women and children continued to be exposed to violence and abuse, and different communities had yet to be reconciled, all amid a looming food security crisis. In addition, he pointed out that “the architecture of the state” would have to be redesigned after years of “mismanagement, corruption and international neglect.”
“Rebuilding will take time,” Mr. Ban admitted, “but we need to focus now on strengthening public financial management and accountability specifically targeting revenue collection, expenditure controls, public procurement and concession practices.”
“We must be there for the people of the CAR,” concluded the UN chief. “Let us pledge to stay the course and help them chart a path to reconstruction, reconciliation, and the rule of law.”
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