BONUCA: Peacekeeping to follow dialogue
Convinced that dialogue is the only solution to the continuing conflict in the Central African Republic and its subregion, the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (BONUCA) in that country was behind a plethora of peace initiatives in 2006. General Lamine Cissé, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and others have held a series of talks with political parties, trade unions, civil society organizations and foreign ambassadors with a view to making the negotiation process as inclusive as possible. This would mean counting the armed opposition among the main stakeholders.
In an effort to distribute and disseminate information on its activities, BONUCA held regular radio broadcasts on the culture of peace and the ideals of human rights. In December, the office also organized a training session for officials from the regional offices for national reconciliation to support the Government’s initiative to create a forum for meetings and dialogue throughout the country.
The internal situation has been marked by crises within the political movements, which are wracked with dissension. The Government has called on the parties to unite or adopt different names. Meanwhile, BONUCA has mediated between the authorities and other political leaders to promote reconciliation. The office has encouraged the political parties to engage in dialogue and to maintain their unity, given their key role in strengthening CAR’s fragile democracy.
The security situation in the region remained volatile and the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force on the country’s borders with Sudan and Chad – in the planning as 2007 began – would help ease the growing tensions in the area. While some 50,000 displaced persons have received assistance from UN agencies and affiliated NGOs thus far, close to 20,000 in less accessible rural areas are still in need of help.
The insecurity prevailing in various parts of the country has led to a deteriorating human rights situation where violations committed by armed gangs and wayward elements of the defence and security forces often go unpunished.
Prepared by the Peace and Security Section, United Nations Department of Public Information.
© United Nations 2007