The Security Council strongly condemned violence by armed groups in the Central African Republic today and called upon all their leaders immediately to cease hostilities so that all parties could agree on a new road map to sustainable peace.
In a statement issued by Wu Haitao (China), its President for July, the Council took note of the outcomes of the meeting of Central African Republic partners held in Brussels on 21 June, and welcomed the agreement to develop a joint road map to continue the mediation with the armed groups under the leadership of the Government in partnership with the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation as well as international partners.
The Council called upon all partners, in particular the African Union and neighbouring States, urgently to agree upon and support implementation of such a road map with a view to reaching a sustainable cessation of hostilities over the entire national territory. Expressing concern at the ongoing clashes between armed groups and the targeting of civilians belonging to specific communities, as well as United Nations peacekeepers, the Council reiterated that some of those actions may amount to crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Underlining the importance of fighting impunity, the Council called for operationalizing the Special Criminal Court and for restoring the judicial, criminal justice and penitentiary systems throughout the country. According to the statement, the Council remained deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation, whereby nearly half of the estimated 4.6 million Central Africans were in need of aid, and reiterated its demand that all parties allow and facilitate immediate and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Renewing its support for President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, the Council called upon national authorities at all levels to advance his justice and accountability, disarmament, reconciliation and reform agenda, in line with the conclusions of the Bangui Forum.
The meeting began at 11:03 a.m. and ended at 11:57 a.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/9 reads as follows:
“The Security Council expresses concern at the ongoing clashes between armed groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the targeting of civilians from specific communities, UN Peacekeepers and humanitarian workers which continue to destabilize the country and cause heavy civilian losses and significant population displacements despite agreement by parties to the conflict to an immediate cessation of hostilities.
“The Security Council deplores all attacks against civilians, abuses and violations of human rights, including those involving sexual and gender based violence in conflict, as well as the looting of humanitarian premises and reiterates the urgent and imperative need to hold accountable all perpetrators of such abuses and violations, irrespective of their status or political affiliation
“The Security Council reiterates that some of those acts may amount to crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and recalls that, following the request of the national authorities, the Prosecutor of the ICC opened in 2014 an investigation into alleged crimes committed since 2012.
“The Security Council underlines the importance of the fight against impunity and takes note in this regard the report of the Mapping Project documenting serious violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the CAR between January 2003 and December 2015. The Security Council calls for the operationalization of the Special Criminal Court as well as the restoration of the judiciary, criminal justice and penitentiary systems throughout the country.
“The Security Council is deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in the country, including the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), where nearly half of the estimated 4.6 million Central Africans are in need of humanitarian assistance. The Security Council reiterates its demand that all parties allow and facilitate the full, safe, immediate and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need.
“The Security Council renews its support to President Touadéra, welcomes his efforts to advance the dialogue with the armed groups and the extension of state authority in all parts of the country, and encourages President Touadéra to lead an inclusive political process that involves men and women of all social, economic, political, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including IDPs and refugees, without delay. The Security Council calls on the CAR authorities at all levels to take the necessary steps to advance the justice and accountability, disarmament, reconciliation and reform agenda promoted by President Touadéra in line with the conclusions of the Bangui Forum.
“The Security Council recalls its presidential statement of 4 April 2017 (S/PRST/2017/5) and welcomes the agreement signed in Rome on 19 June 2017 under the auspices of the Sant-Egidio community as a step forward for peace and stability in the CAR.
“The Security Council strongly condemns violence perpetrated by armed groups and calls on all armed group leaders to sensitize their members to the provisions of the agreement in order to immediately implement the cessation of hostilities provisions in the agreement as well as to honour their commitment, without any restriction, to the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation (DDRR) process.
“The Security Council also welcomes the African Union Initiative for peace and reconciliation in the CAR, and reiterates the need to coordinate all efforts in support of the peace and reconciliation in the CAR, under the leadership of the CAR authorities.
“The Security Council in this regard takes note of the outcomes of the meeting of CAR’s partners held in Brussels on 21 June and welcomes the agreement to develop a joint roadmap to continue the mediation with the armed groups under the leadership of the CAR government in partnership with the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR and, with the support of the CAR’s international partners.
“The Security Council calls on all of CAR’s partners, in particular the African Union and neighbouring states, to urgently agree upon and support the implementation of this joint road map, with a view to reach a sustainable cessation of hostilities over the entire territory of the CAR. In this regard, the Security Council calls on all CAR’s partners to build a shared vision and continue strengthening their coordination in support for the political process and longer-term peace and stability in the CAR.
“The Security Council also calls upon the neighbouring Member States to engage in the resolution of cross-border issues that destabilize the CAR, including seasonal migration and trafficking of weapons and natural resources.
“The Security Council emphasizes the critical importance of effective implementation of the sanctions regime, including the key role of neighbouring States, as well as regional and subregional organizations in this regard, and encourages efforts to further enhance cooperation and implementation of the sanctions regime in all its aspects.
“The Security Council renews its strong support to Special Representative of the Secretary-General Parfait Onanga-Anyanga and to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in the implementation of its mandate in support of CAR authorities, including through the adoption of a proactive and robust posture to protect civilians and promote the political process and for the progressive and coordinated reformation and re-operationalization of the FACA and other internal security forces, in accordance with paragraphs 34.b.i, 34.b.v, and 34.b.vi of resolution 2301 (2016).”
* The 8000th Meeting was closed.