Recalling that stabilizing the security situation in the Central African Republic was the main responsibility of that country’s stakeholders, the Security Council today reiterated its appeal to the leaders of the ex-Séléka and anti-Balaka groups, among other armed groups, to “immediately and permanently” lay down their weapons, release children from their ranks and embark on a path of dialogue.
In a statement presented by Moussa Faki Mahamat, Minister for Foreign Affairs and African Integration of Chad, which holds the body’s December presidency, the Council also reiterated its call on Transitional Authorities to take action towards an inclusive political dialogue and reconciliation process at local and national levels. Also needed were election preparations, efforts to combat impunity, implementation of a disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation strategy, and the rebuilding of effective State institutions.
In that context, the Council urged the Transitional Authorities to accelerate inclusive preparations for the Bangui Forum on National Reconciliation, slated for January 2015, and all actors of the electoral process to accelerate preparations for free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential and legislative elections to be held no later than August 2015.
Expressing its intention to consider targeted sanctions for individuals and entities that supported acts which undermined stability, the Council strongly condemned the resurgence of violence in October in Bangui, as well as continuous reprisals by armed groups, threats of violence and human rights violations committed by armed elements.
It equally condemned targeted attacks against the Transitional Authorities, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Operation Sangaris and EUFOR RCA — the United Nations-mandated European Union peacekeeping mission in Bangui — stressing the important role of internal security forces in restoring security.
Also by the text, the Council noted the opening by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on 24 September of an investigation on alleged crimes committed since 2012, reiterating the need to strengthen justice institutions and fight impunity. Likewise, it welcomed the 7 August signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Urgent Temporary Measures, which described, among other initiatives, the establishment of a national Special Criminal Court.
The Council called on all armed groups to immediately cease all violence against humanitarian personnel and civilians, demanding that all parties allow the full, safe, immediate, unhindered and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The meeting began at 3:15 p.m. and ended at 3:17 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2014/28 reads as follows:
“The Security Council takes note of the final communiqué of the high-level meeting on the Central African Republic held under the auspices of the Secretary‑General in New York on 26 September 2014. The Security Council also takes note of the conclusions of the sixth meeting of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic held in Bangui on 11 November 2014, which requests the International Mediator in the Central African Republic crisis, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, in line with his authority under the Transitional National Charter, to extend the transition by six months, up to August 2015, given that the election date of February 2015 was no longer technically feasible.
“The Security Council recalls that the stabilization of the security situation is first and foremost the responsibility of the Central African Republic stakeholders and reiterates its appeal to all parties and stakeholders, particularly the leaders of the ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka groups, as well as all other armed groups, to immediately and permanently lay down their arms, to release all children from their ranks, and to embark upon the path of dialogue as the only viable means towards achieving lasting reconciliation and peace, and an essential condition for the successful implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
“The Security Council reiterates its call upon the Transitional Authorities to take concrete action, with the full, effective and equal participation of women, towards an inclusive and comprehensive political dialogue and reconciliation process at the local and national levels; preparation for the elections; the fight against impunity; formulation and implementation of a disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation strategy, including children formerly associated with armed forces and groups; and the rebuilding of effective State institutions, including through security sector reform.
“In this regard, the Security Council urges the Transitional Authorities to accelerate inclusive preparations for the Bangui Forum on National Reconciliation scheduled for January 2015, with the aim of forging a national-level consensus. The Security Council welcomes and commends recent efforts by the Transitional Authorities to gather views of local citizens in advance of the Bangui Forum by dispatching Government ministers and officials throughout the Central African Republic.
“The Security Council also urges all actors of the electoral process, including the Transitional Authorities and the National Elections Authority (NEA), to accelerate preparations in order to hold free, fair, transparent and inclusive presidential and legislative elections, that allow for the full, effective and equal participation of women, internally displaced persons, and Central African Republic refugees, no later than August 2015, which will mark the end of the transition, and to swiftly implement concrete measures necessary to achieve this objective. To that end, the Security Council calls upon all international partners of the Central African Republic to provide support to the electoral process, particularly through financing the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi-donor Basket Fund for elections.
“The Security Council further urges the signatories to the Brazzaville Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities of 23 July 2014 to immediately and fully implement its provisions, in particular articles 4 and 8, and calls upon the International Mediation, led by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union, and the United Nations to facilitate the early conclusion of an agreement on the disarmament of the armed groups.
“The Security Council expresses its intent to consider designating additional individuals and entities who engage in or provide support for acts that undermine the peace, stability and security of the Central African Republic, including those who provide support to armed groups through the illicit exploitation of natural resources, for targeted sanctions in accordance with the provisions of Security Council resolutions 2127 (2014) and 2134 (2014).
“The Security Council further recalls that all Member States must take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals designated by the 2127 Sanctions Committee.
“The Security Council welcomes the steps towards improving stability in the Central African Republic and commends the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), Sangaris and EUFOR RCA for the work done in laying the foundation for increased security ahead of and in support of MINUSCA’s deployment. The Council notes with concern, however, that while improving, security in the Central African Republic remains fragile.
“The Security Council strongly condemns the resurgence of violence, which was politically or criminally motivated, that occurred in October 2014 in Bangui; the continuous cycle of provocations and reprisals by armed groups, both inside and outside of Bangui; the threats of violence, human rights violations and abuses and international humanitarian law violations committed by armed elements, which continue to adversely affect the dire humanitarian situation facing the civilian population and to impede humanitarian access to vulnerable populations and encourages MINUSCA, Sangaris and EUFOR to use, within their respective mandates, all necessary means to effectively protect civilians and to restore a lasting security.
“The Security Council equally condemns the targeted attacks against the Transitional Authorities as well as those against MINUSCA, Sangaris and EUFOR RCA troops during the October events in Bangui. The Council underlines that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and reminds all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law.
“The Security Council reiterates its grave concern at the threat to peace and security in the Central African Republic arising from the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons.
“The Security Council stresses the important role of the internal security forces (police and gendarmerie) in the restoration of security in the Central African Republic. The Security Council encourages the Central African Republic authorities to initiate the reform process of the Central African Republic Armed Forces (FACA), to include appropriate vetting procedures in order to put in place a professional, representative and balanced army, including through the adoption of measures to absorb elements of the armed groups meeting rigorous selection criteria, as well as through the retraining of part of the FACA. The Security Council reiterates the important role of MINUSCA in providing support for security sector reform and vetting processes, including through the provision of strategic policy advice and coordination of technical assistance and training. The Security Council encourages the international community, including the European Union, to consider a coordinated and concerted support for reform and capacity-building of the FACA, including through advice, assistance and non-operational training, as appropriate.
“The Security Council commends the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Babacar Gaye and takes note of the increased deployment of MINUSCA’s military, police and civilian components; the Missions’ initial work in implementing its mandate; the establishment, on 15 September, of the Bangui Task Force; and the Mission’s reconfiguration following the violent incidents in Bangui in October.
“The Security Council urges the Secretariat and MINUSCA to accelerate the deployments of its civilian, police and military capabilities in the Central African Republic, including the necessary logistical support and command and control structure and to speed up recruitment procedures, in order to reach its full operational capacity as soon as possible and enable the Mission to effectively discharge its mandate over the entire national territory. To this end, the Security Council further urges the former MISCA troop and police contributing countries that have been rehatted to MINUSCA to expedite the procurement and deployment of remaining additional contingent-owned equipment. The Security Council also urges MINUSCA to intensify the implementation of its mandate, in particular in support of the reconciliation, electoral and DDR processes, in accordance with priority tasks set out in paragraph 30 of Security Council resolution 2149 (2014).
“The Security Council recalls MINUSCA’s mandate to protect, without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the Central African Republic authorities, the civilian population from threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, including through active patrolling.
“The Security Council calls on partners to pledge or confirm pledges for the lacking capabilities in MINUSCA, in particular the attack helicopter unit, the special forces company, and the signals company.
“The Security Council affirms that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law, human rights violations and abuses and other criminal acts, including those involving killing, maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, recruitment and use of children, violations of physical integrity, looting, destruction of properties and restrictions on freedom of movement, as well as attacks against humanitarian personnel, shall be held accountable.
“In this regard, the Security Council notes the opening by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on 24 September 2014 of an investigation on alleged crimes committed since 2012 and welcomes the ongoing cooperation by the Central African Republic Transitional Authorities in this regard.
“The Security Council reiterates the need to strengthen justice institutions and to fight impunity in order to contribute to stabilization and reconciliation, and calls on the Central African authorities to take concrete steps, without delay, to achieve this objective as a matter of priority. The Security Council calls on the Transitional Authorities to continue their efforts to redeploy State administration in the provinces, including through the effective restoration of the administration of the judiciary and the criminal justice system throughout the country, with the support of the international community.
“The Security Council welcomes the signing on 7 August 2014 of the Memorandum of Understanding on Urgent Temporary Measures, which describes, in particular, the establishment of a national Special Criminal Court in charge of investigating and prosecuting the serious crimes committed in the Central African Republic, and calls for the implementation of this Memorandum of Understanding without delay, in accordance with resolution 2149 (2014) and including through the adoption of the necessary legislation by the Transitional Authorities.
“The Security Council looks forward to the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry established by Security Council resolution 2127 (2013).
“The Security Council calls for cooperation between all relevant institutions and mechanisms contributing to investigations and prosecutions of crimes involving violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights.
“The Security Council calls upon all armed groups in the Central African Republic to immediately cease all acts of violence against humanitarian personnel and civilians, and demands that all parties allow the full, safe, immediate, unhindered and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need, in particular to internally displaced persons, throughout the territory of the Central African Republic, respecting the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance and relevant provisions of international law.
“The Security Council notes with appreciation the efforts made by the humanitarian personnel, and reiterates its appreciation to the neighboring countries, which are still hosting approximately 420,000 Central African Republic refugees. The Security Council calls on the Transitional Authorities, humanitarian personnel and all relevant actors to establish favourable conditions for the voluntary and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees, and for the finding of a lasting solution for the concerned populations.
“The Security Council urgently appeals to the international community to mobilize additional resources, noting in this regard that a total amount of $321 million is still required to cover the needs identified within the framework of the 2014 Central African Republic Strategic Response Plan and Regional Refugee Response Plan, to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, with an approach linking relief, rehabilitation and development.
“The Security Council stresses that the restoration of lasting peace and stability in the Central African Republic is also contingent upon economic recovery, with concrete prospects for youth employment. In this context, the Security Council welcomes the pursuit, particularly in Bangui, of employment-generating projects and their extension to other locations, in the country, and calls for the multiplication of projects in the countryside, notably in the east and north-east regions, which have an acute need of development.
“The Security Council calls on the Transitional Authorities to continue their efforts to restore sound and transparent public financial management, in line with the recommendations of the recent International Monetary Fund mission in Bangui (November 2014), in particular to mobilize domestic resources, particularly customs revenues, in full respect of financial best practice, in order to meet the expenses related to the functioning of the State; implement early recovery plans; and revitalize the economy. This would create a conducive environment for the restoration of confidence by the economic actors, the mobilization of new private investment, and the mobilization of international financial assistance, which is needed to cover 2015 financial needs.
“The Security Council expresses its appreciation for the International Mediation led by President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, and comprising Mr. Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, on behalf of the African Union, and Mr. Abdoulaye Bathily, on behalf of the United Nations, as well as ECCAS as rapporteur, and the constructive engagement of the region.
“The Security Council emphasizes that the continued role of the region, including the Chair of ECCAS and its mediator, as well as of the African Union, together with the United Nations, will be critical for the promotion of lasting peace and stability in the Central African Republic.
“The Security Council calls upon the international community to continue to support the people and Transitional Authorities of the Central African Republic and to provide urgent financial contributions to support national dialogue and reconciliation, electoral, DDR and SSR processes, as well as the restoration of the judicial and penal chains in order to fight against impunity. The Security Council notes in this respect the role of the Peacebuilding Commission in encouraging and facilitating dialogue, complementarity and coherence among all actors involved, in close collaboration with the United Nations leadership in the field; in sustaining the attention and commitment of the international community in support of these processes and of the long-term peacebuilding objectives of the country.”