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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Remarks of the Secretary-General at press conference before departure from CAR - English and French

Bangui, 5 April 2014

(Scroll down for French)

Mbi bala ala kwe.


I am concluding a very moving visit to the Central African Republic. I thank the leaders and people of this country for their welcome.

I am encouraged by the resolve of the new Head of the Transition and her team. 

I have come here on my way to Rwanda for a reason.  I want to shine a spotlight on what is happening here.

I leave here with three messages. 

The first is to the people of this country: You are not alone. 

The United Nations is honoured to be by your side. 

I want to express my profound sympathies to all those who lost loved ones in the appalling violence. 

Today I met with many who have been forced to leave their homes and communities. Their stories will stay with me forever.  

I want to reassure young and old, women and men, Muslims and Christians  – that I will not forget you. 

I have heard you.  I support your calls for security and justice to be at the centre of reconciliation.

The UN Commission of Inquiry and other efforts will help address accountability and prevent further appalling human rights violations.

My second message is to the world:  Do not look away.  Do not ignore what is happening here. 

I am pleased that the European Union will be deploying forces.  I thank the French and African Union troops for their lifesaving efforts.

But CAR needs more.  And it needs it now. 

The country is at risk of partition – destabilizing an already fragile region.

The Security Council is about to authorise the deployment of a new UN peacekeeping mission for the CAR.  But peacekeepers alone cannot provide the answer to all the challenges.

Success will require a strong commitment to peace from Central Africans themselves and close coordination among all partners.

The blue helmets will not arrive right away.  We need to work together for security today while laying the groundwork for longer term peace and stability tomorrow.

My third and final message is simply this:  There is hope. 

Despite the difficulties, I know that the people of the Central African Republic can have what they rightfully deserve – a future of security and opportunity. 

We have seen such transformations happen in other war torn countries. Sierra Leone.  Timor-Leste.  Liberia. 

But this won’t happen by itself. 

It will take the commitment of the people of this country and the international community to pull together to make it happen.

You have my full support.

We have an opportunity and an obligation to act – and to act now. 

Sin gila mingi.

Thank you.

Questions and answers

Le Citoyen : Mr. Secretary-General, do you think that it will be possible to organize and hold the forthcoming elections without involving the national Army ?

SG (in French): I know that the presidential election will take place in February of next year. I hope that the deployment of the peacekeeping operation will help establish political and socioeconomic stability, as well as the protection of the human rights. I’m confident that next year’s elections could be conducted credibly objectively in a democratic context.

France 24: Mr. Secretary-General, during your speech, you made a parallel between this country and Rwanda, you also talked about state of the State here in the Central African Republic, do you think the Central African Republic is going in the same direction as Rwanda, do you think it might become a failed state?

SG: We must do all what we can, we must [do] all in our power to prevent such kind of eventuality. We have been pledging, saying, repeatdly the same “never again”, “never again.” That is why I am going to Rwanda today to participate in the twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. We had another such a genocide mistake in Srebrenica. Then it is absolutely important that this world should never see any such repetition of genocide. That is why I am here, to demonstrate solidarity and firm determined will of the United Nations to help establish peace and security in this country.

Centrafrique Matin: We know that in Central African Republic there is only this crisis. There are also external forces such as the LRA that operate inside the country. So do we wait peacekeeping mission to assure security? What do we do with external forces?

SG: It is important that all the neighbors and all the actors must fully cooperate. It is not acceptable that any foreign or external actors or forces try to destabilize this country. That why the UN Security Council is going to show firm and determined international community’s will by authorizing the UN peacekeeping operation, and I will continue to work with the African leaders as I have been doing and I will continue to work with the world leaders to bring peace and stability, and livelihood to many Central African people here. They need human dignity. And those are three priorities: peace and stability, sustainable development, and providing human rights. That is our firm commitment and that is the main purpose of my visit to show that firm and determined will to the people of this country.

Thank you very much. 


FRENCH

Mbi bala ala kwe.

Alors que je conclus cette visite très émouvante en République centrafricaine, je tiens à remercier les dirigeants et la population de ce pays pour leur accueil.

Je suis très encouragé par la détermination de Madame Samba-Panza, votre chef de l’État de transition de la République centrafricaine.

Je me suis arrêté a Bangui avant d’aller au Rwanda pour une raison. Je veux que le monde sache ce qui ce passe ici.

Avant de partir, j’aurai trois messages à donner.

Le premier s’adresse à la population de ce pays : vous n’êtes pas seuls.

Les Nations Unies sont honorées d’être à vos côtés.

Je veux exprimer mes sincères condoléances à tous ceux qui ont perdu un proche dans cette tempête de violences.

J’ai rencontré aujourd’hui de nombreuses personnes qui ont été chassées de leurs foyers et de leurs communautés. Leurs récits resteront à jamais dans ma mémoire.

Je tiens à rassurer chacun de vous, jeunes et moins jeunes, femmes et hommes, musulmans et chrétiens : je ne vous oublierai pas.

Je vous ai entendus. Je soutiens votre appel : la sécurité et la justice  doivent être au centre du processus de réconciliation.
La Commission d’enquête des Nations Unies, et d’autres efforts, aideront à faire en sorte que les responsables des exactions en répondent et à empêcher que de nouvelles violations épouvantables des droits de l’homme ne soient commises.

Le second message s’adresse au monde : ne fermez pas les yeux sur ce qui se passe ici.

Je me félicite du déploiement de forces annoncées par l’Union européenne. Je remercie le contingent français et celui de l’Union africaine de leur action salvatrice.

Mais il faut faire davantage pour la République centrafricaine, et il faut le faire maintenant.

Le risque d’une partition, qui déstabiliserait une région déjà fragile, menace le pays.

Le Conseil de sécurité est sur le point d’autoriser le déploiement d’une nouvelle mission de maintien de la paix des Nations Unies en République centrafricaine. Les soldats de la paix ne peuvent cependant, à eux seuls, résoudre tous les problèmes.

La réussite passera par une détermination sans faille des Centrafricains eux-mêmes à instaurer la paix et par une étroite concertation entre tous les partenaires.

Les Casques bleus ne seront pas déployés immédiatement et nous devons, aujourd’hui, travailler ensemble au rétablissement de la sécurité tout en jetant les bases nécessaires pour que la paix et la stabilité soient assurées à moyen terme.

Mon troisième et dernier message sera bref : il y a lieu d’espérer.
Je suis convaincu que le peuple centrafricain, malgré les difficultés qu’il traverse, pourra envisager, comme il le mérite, un avenir sûr et prometteur.

De telles transformations se sont produites dans d’autres pays déchirés par la guerre, au nombre desquels on peut citer la Sierra Leone, le Timor-Leste ou le Libéria.

Mais cette transformation ne se produira pas sans aide.

Il faudra, pour qu’elle ait lieu, toute la détermination du peuple centrafricain et de la communauté internationale.

Vous pouvez compter sur mon appui.

Nous pouvons agir, nous en avons l’obligation et nous devons le faire maintenant.

Sin gila mingi.

Je vous remercie.