On 9 March 2016, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) concerning the Central African Republic held a meeting to discuss the sanctions-monitoring mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the role of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in the management of weapons and ammunition management in that country.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central African Republic and Head of MINUSCA, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, noted via videoconference from Bangui that the high number of armed groups accounted for in the country — some of which have not joined the pre-disarmament demobilization and reintegration process — continue to pose a threat to the civilian population and constitute a matter of concern, not only for the core mandate of MINUSCA, i.e. the protection of civilians, but also with regard to the implementation of the arms embargo. In addition, various criminal groups were engaging in the illicit exploitation of the country’s natural resources. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General stated that MINUSCA remained committed to working with the newly elected authorities of the Central African Republic and the Committee on key issues relating to security sector reform and disarmament demobilization and reintegration. He also informed Committee members regarding reports that small arms and ammunition were being smuggled into the Central African Republic from several neighbouring countries, as well as the smuggling of diamonds out of the Central African Republic.
In his briefing, the representative of UNMAS highlighted, inter alia, the Service’s work in safeguarding ammunition and explosives from Camp Beal in Bangui, the destruction of unexploded ordnance and commercial explosives in the vicinity of the MINUSCA camp in Birao, and the construction of an armoury at Camp Kassai in Bangui. He also provided an overview of UNMAS training of Central African Republic security personnel in stockpile safety management; planning for the construction of a permanent national ammunition depot in support of the Forces Armées Centrafricaines; installing temporary ammunition or explosives storage facilities and safes to an agreed minimum national standard in support of national defence, security forces and prisons; and constructing permanent armouries in larger urban areas to effectively manage larger amounts of weapons and ammunition.
Members of the Committee welcomed the meeting and expressed appreciation for the work of MINUSCA and UNMAS. Delegations emphasized the importance of implementing security sector reform and disarmament demobilization and reintegration goals in a timely manner. Members also highlighted the importance of effective and secure weapons stockpile management in the Central African Republic and combating the movement of illicit arms flows into its territory from neighbouring countries.