The United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) is a regionally-focused political office with a mandate to help prevent conflict and consolidate peace in Central Africa. Its inauguration in Libreville, Gabon took place in March 2011. UNOCA makes available the UN’s good offices and other assistance to support preventive diplomacy and mediation in situations of tension or potential conflict. It also works closely with UN entities on the ground, governments, regional and sub-regional organizations to address cross-border challenges. These include arms trafficking, organized crime and the presence of armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
UNOCA has been established through an exchange of letters completed in August 2010 between the United Nations Secretary-General and the Security Council. Its budget was approved in December 2010 by the General-Assembly. UNOCA has an initial two-year mandate. The Office is headed by the Secretary-General's Special Representative Abou Moussa.
UNOCA is the third regional political office attached to the Department of Political Affairs. The UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA) have demonstrated the value of preventive diplomacy and other assistance in helping regions to manage shared problems, crises and tensions peacefully.
Homepage of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa
Promoting coordination against the Lord's Resistance Army
At the request of the Security Council, UNOCA is working with the AU, LRA-affected countries, UN partners and others to maximize the collective impact of actions to address the problems caused by the Lord's Resistance Army. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa and Head of UNOCA, Mr. Abou Moussa, and the AU Special Envoy on the LRA, Mr. Francisco Madeira are working together to help ensure sustained political commitment by the governments of the four affected countries Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Uganda and the necessary support of their partners. In this regard, they undertook several joint missions in those countries.
In addition, UNOCA has worked closely with the UN Office to the African Union, UN entities in the LRA-affected areas, and the African Union to develop a regional strategy to counter the LRA as well as to address the impact of its activities and promote joint action. UNOCA convened all stakeholders in Entebbe, Uganda, in 2013 to evaluate and discuss priorities in implementing the regional strategy. The resulting roadmap outlines a division of work among between all parties, as requested by the Security Council after the presentation of the Secretary-General’s third report on this issue.
UNOCA coordinates the UN’s support for the operationalization of the African Union-led Regional Cooperative Initiative for the elimination of the LRA. Its military component, the Regional Task Force, consists of more than 3,000 soldiers from Uganda and South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the DRC.
Fact Sheet: UN actions to address the threat and impact of the LRA
Video: UN efforts against the Lord's Resistance Army