EXTENDING MISSION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC UNTIL 25 OCTOBER, COUNCIL CALLS ON AUTHORITIES TO MOVE TOWARDS LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS

14 July 1998
SC/6547

EXTENDING MISSION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC UNTIL 25 OCTOBER, COUNCIL CALLS ON AUTHORITIES TO MOVE TOWARDS LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS

14 July 1998

Press ReleaseSC/6547

EXTENDING MISSION IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC UNTIL 25 OCTOBER, COUNCIL CALLS ON AUTHORITIES TO MOVE TOWARDS LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS

19980714

Resolution 1182 (1998) Adopted Unanimously

The Security Council this afternoon decided to extend the mandate of the United States Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA) until 25 October 1998.

As it unanimously adopted resolution 1182 (1998), the Council recognized that MINURCA, in implementing its mandate, might conduct limited- duration reconnaissance missions outside Bangui and other tasks in accordance with its mandate.

Reiterating the need for the Government of the Central African Republic to continue to take concrete steps to implement political, economic, social and security reforms, the Council called on those authorities to adopt rapidly an operational plan to organize legislative elections and so enable the United Nations and international organizations to arrange for the provision of the necessary assistance.

The Council also called on the Government to adopt, as soon as possible, a plan for the effective restructuring of its armed forces based on proposals submitted by the country's commission on restructuring the defence and security forces.

The Council also urged the international community to support the restructuring of the security forces, including the gendarmerie, through bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes. It recognized the role of MINURCA in providing advice and technical assistance during the initial phases of that restructuring, as well as its role in coordinating and channelling international support to that end.

Stressing the importance of regional stability and the need to consolidate the progress achieved so far, the Council urged Member States to provide technical, financial and logistical assistance for the organization of free and fair elections and to support the efforts of the authorities of the Central African Republic in the economic and social development of the country. In particular, the Council encouraged international financial institutions to cooperate with the Central African Republic.

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The Secretary-General was requested to report by 25 September on the implementation of the mandate of MINURCA; on developments in the Central African Republic; on progress towards the implementation of the commitments expressed by the President of the Central African Republic; and on the implementation of the Bangui Agreements and the National Reconciliation Pact.

The representative of the Central African Republic made a statement.

The meeting, which began at 12:52 p.m., was adjourned at 1:04 p.m.

Council Work Programme

The Security Council met this afternoon to consider the situation in the Central African Republic.

Before the Council is the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA) (document S/1998/540) in which he recommends that the Council extend the mandate of MINURCA by two months, until 15 September 1998. Should the necessary electoral preparations be made by the Central African parties before the expiration of the mandated period, the Secretary-General would be prepared to submit detailed recommendations on possible United Nations involvement in the electoral process.

In view of the need for MINURCA to continue to assess, for electoral purposes, the situation outside of Bangui and in order to provide support to United Nations humanitarian activities throughout the country, the Secretary- General also recommends that the military component of MINURCA conduct reconnaissance missions and provide security escorts of short duration outside the capital.

The Secretary-General observes that since the transfer of authority from the Inter-African Mission to Monitor the Bangui Agreements (MISAB) to MINURCA on 15 April, MINURCA has succeeded in maintaining security and stability in Bangui. The Secretary-General also notes that his Special Representative to the Central African Republic has been actively promoting the reforms necessary to achieve lasting national reconciliation, peace, reconstruction and development in that country.

The Bangui Agreements of 25 January 1997 have provided modalities for alleviating the crises in the Central African Republic. The Secretary-General also reported that the President of the Central African Republic, Ange-Félix Patassé, has reiterated his commitment to implement the Agreements and to carry out security and economic reforms. Some progress has been made in implementing major reforms outlined in the Secretary-General's earlier report to the Security Council (document S/1998/148). However, the Secretary-General said more remains to be done, with progress towards national reconciliation and the security situation remaining fragile. If lasting peace is to be achieved, urgent action is needed in the following priority areas: the credible restructuring of the defence and security forces; the organization of free and fair legislative elections; and economic and social recovery. No progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the commission on the restructuring of the defence and security forces. Those recommendations included the dissolution of the security services and major downsizing and reconstruction of the Presidential Guard. The Secretary-General says that while the main responsibility for implementing those tasks lies with the country's Government and the political

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parties, external assistance was needed. He calls upon all Member States and regional organizations to provide the required assistance.

Continuing, he says that the Government must make all possible efforts to conclude agreements with the Bretton Woods institutions to address the country's pressing economic and social difficulties, particularly the task of meeting salary arrears. He also calls upon the Government and all other members of Central African civil society to implement the plans developed by the commission to restructure the defence and security forces. He encourages international support for that endeavour through bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes. His Special Representative was prepared to monitor and coordinate, as appropriate, such international support and to provide technical advice to donors on the restructuring needs.

The Secretary-General urges all Central African parties to reconcile their differences in order to install the electoral commission and to develop an operational plan for the election. Only when those minimum requirements are met, will the Secretary-General make recommendations on a future role of the United Nations in the legislative elections process. In the meantime, MINURCA, working in close collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will continue to provide advice and technical assistance to all relevant electoral bodies.

The electoral unit of MINURCA estimates that a minimum of 90 to 100 days would be required to prepare credible elections once the electoral commission is installed and once critical funding was obtained. The MINURCA could, in due course, recruit electoral observers to establish a presence throughout the country and coordinate the international assistance necessary for the successful conduct of free and fair elections.

Concerted action would be required to ensure security throughout the country for the safe conduct of the elections. In addition to the Government's measures, the Secretary-General could envisage the deployment of United Nations troops in some key locations outside Bangui to protect electoral observers. The Secretary-General will continue to review the security requirements and will revert to the issue when appropriate.

Draft Resolution

The Council had before it a draft resolution (S/1998/637), the text of which reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its resolutions 1125 (1997) of 6 August 1997, 1136 (1997) of 6 November 1997, 1152 (1998) of 5 February 1998, 1155 (1998) of 16 March 1998, and 1159 (1998) of 27 March 1998,

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"Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 19 June 1998 (S/1998/540) and noting the recommendations contained therein,

"Noting with satisfaction the rapid and effective deployment of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA),

"Stressing the importance of regional stability and the need to consolidate the progress achieved so far, and in particular to assist the people of the Central African Republic to consolidate the process of national reconciliation and to help sustain a secure and stable environment conducive to the holding of free and fair elections,

"Welcoming the inauguration of the Electoral Commission with a neutral and independent Chairman and stressing the need for all signatories to the Bangui Agreements to cooperate to ensure the effective functioning of the Commission,

"Reiterating the need for the authorities of the Central African Republic to continue to take concrete steps to implement political, economic, social and security reforms as referred to in the report of the Secretary- General of 23 February 1998 (S/1998/148) and to fulfil the commitments expressed in the letter of 8 January 1998 to the Secretary-General from the President of the Central African Republic (S/1998/61, Annex) including continued cooperation with the international financial institutions,

"1. Decides to extend the mandate of MINURCA until 25 October 1998;

"2. Calls upon the Government of the Central African Republic to adopt, as soon as possible, a plan for the effective restructuring of the armed forces of the Central African Republic based on the proposals submitted by the Commission on the Restructuring of the Defence and Security Forces;

"3. Urges the international community to lend its support to the restructuring of the security forces of the Central African Republic, including the gendarmerie, through bilateral and multilateral assistance programmes, and recognizes the role of MINURCA of providing advice and technical assistance for the initial steps in restructuring the security forces of the Central African Republic and, in this connection, coordinating and channelling international support to this end;

"4. Recognizes that MINURCA, in implementing its mandate, may conduct limited-duration reconnaissance missions outside Bangui, and other tasks involving the security of United Nations personnel in accordance with paragraph 10 of resolution 1159 (1998);

"5. Calls upon the authorities of the Central African Republic to adopt rapidly an operational plan for the organization of the legislative elections,

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and so enable the United Nations and international organizations to make arrangements for the provision of the necessary assistance;

"6. Encourages MINURCA to continue to consult with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regarding the provision of advice and technical assistance to all relevant electoral bodies, and urges the Secretary-General to provide, as soon as possible, recommendations for United Nations assistance for the legislative election process;

"7. Urges Member States to provide the required technical, financial and logistical assistance for the organization of free and fair elections;

"8. Also urges Member States to support the efforts of the authorities of the Central African Republic in the economic and social development of the country and in particular encourages international financial institutions to cooperate with the Central African Republic in this regard;

"9. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Security Council by 25 September 1998 on the implementation of the mandate of MINURCA, on developments in the Central African Republic, on progress towards the implementation of the commitments expressed in the letter of 8 January 1998 to the Secretary-General from the President of the Central African Republic and on the implementation of the Bangui Agreements and the National Reconciliation Pact, including on commitments related to ensuring the country's economic recovery;

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

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For information media. Not an official record.