|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Situation in chad/Central African Republic/sudan border area still fraught,
Secretary-General warns in message to subregional security meeting
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the twenty-fourth ministerial meeting of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa in Kigali, Rwanda, as delivered by Bintou Keita, United Nations Resident Coordinator, a.i., today, 28 September:
It is my pleasure to send you all my warm greetings on the occasion of this important meeting. I would like first of all to thank the people and Government of Rwanda, who are hosting the work of the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa for the first time.
While the Government is endeavouring to consolidate peace and stability here in Rwanda, real progress has also been achieved, in other countries of the subregion, in the areas of peace, democracy and re-establishing the rule of law. I am thinking in particular of the signing of the Arusha Agreement between the Government of Burundi and the FNL, an agreement which, I hope, will help to strengthen peace in that country. I am also thinking of the electoral process under way in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the people turned out to vote in large numbers in the presidential and legislative elections of 30 July. The international community mobilized considerable resources in support of that process. The Congolese people must seize the opportunity they are being offered to build a better future for their country. In particular, I urge the political leaders to show a strong sense of responsibility and to do everything in their power to ensure that the process is completed. It is time to close a painful chapter in the country’s history and to open an era of peace and prosperity for the entire population.
Unfortunately, despite this progress, the subregion remains fragile and its future continues to be uncertain. Recent events in Chad confirm once again the need to promote dialogue and reconciliation. The situation in the Chad/Central African Republic/Sudan border area is fraught with danger. It could destabilize all of Central Africa. The international community must step up its efforts to effectively secure the borders in that area. For its part, the Committee, in cooperation with the Government of the Sudan, should seek a solution acceptable to all.
The precarious security situation resulting from the abuses committed by the rebel movements and militias in the Central African Republic and the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo also continues to be a source of major concern to the international community.
In conclusion, I would like to pay tribute to the Committee for its tireless efforts to strengthen trust among its Member States and to establish a genuine collective security system on a subregional scale. I wish you every success in your work and I encourage you to demonstrate the determination and political will to implement the decisions and recommendations that you adopt. Be assured that the United Nations will provide you with all possible support in this regard.
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