|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7246th Meeting (PM)
New Peacekeeping Operation in Central African Republic Expected to Reach
Deployment Capability by 15 September, Security Council Told
Configuration Committee Chair Also Briefs Members
On Transition from Special Political to Multidimensional Mission
The United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Central African Republic would most likely reach its initial deployment capability when the transfer of authority from the African Union-led support mission occurred on 15 September, the Security Council heard today.
Barbacar Gaye, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) told the 15-nation body, “We will be re-hatting the majority of the MISCA [African Union-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic] police and military personnel and have recruited some qualified civilians.”
He also noted that efforts were under way to combine the operation centres of the two missions and co-locate their police and military headquarters. Personnel to be re-hatted were receiving training on United Nations standards, as well as on key mandated tasks, including protecting civilians and children and preventing conflict-related sexual violence.
Regarding force generation, he said he was confident that the new mission would reach its initial operating capabilities on 15 September, as the Departments of Peacekeeping Operation and Field Support were actively engaged in those activities. Efforts were also under way to open integrated field offices before that date in Bouar, Kaga Bandoro and Bria. The presence of United Nations military, police and civilian personnel outside Bangui would be essential to bring about an immediate improvement in people’s lives and create an environment in which sustainable peace could take hold, he stressed.
Mr. Gaya also highlighted recent political developments, particularly a 23 July agreement on cessation of hostilities. Recognizing efforts of international mediators, he said that the peace accord was an important step forward as the country would enter a long path involving disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, the holding of elections and establishing governance.
Noting some negative reactions from Seleka and a few opposition groups to the appointment of a new Prime Minister on 10 August, he said that the formation of a new Government must be inclusive. He also pushed for an early establishment of a monitoring mechanism for the political transition, based on the peace agreement while acknowledging the challenge of communicating the peace accord to many combatants who had no access to any media.
The security situation had improved in Bangui, Bambari and Boda, he said. As a result, the number of internally displaced persons had significantly decreased in Bangui, with some Muslim traders having returned from Cameroon to that area. However, the human rights situation remained grim, and addressing rampant impunity continued to be a key priority. Two and a half million people, more than half of the population in the Central African Republic, were in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
Omar Hilale of Morocco, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s configuration for Central African Republic, said it was the first time that the Commission had been confronted with a country which had returned to conflict, facilitating the need to have a multidimensional peacekeeping mission replace a special political mission. There could be no long-run plan or strategic framework for peacebuilding until peace was achieved.
Nonetheless, he said he believed the configuration would make a major contribution going forward, particularly given its unique role in bringing together diverse national actors. The Peacebuilding Fund had financed three projects in that country, deploying additional human rights observers, rehabilitating a police station and providing new vehicles for those officers, and cooperating with the World Bank and other bodies to pay salaries with the aim of restoring calm, he said.
Identifying four priority areas to support the national reconciliation plan, he expressed hope that the Mission would enable the rapid restoration of security. He called on the Council to support the fragile but indispensable Brazzaville ceasefire. The configuration could support the formation of an inclusive Government, national reconciliation, regional coherence, electoral process, re-establishment of the criminal justice system and mobilization of resources. Currently, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs only had 39 per cent of the funding needed.
The meeting began at 3:25 p.m. and ended at 3:47 p.m.
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