The Security Council strongly condemned violence by armed groups in the Central African Republic today, expressing particular concern over ongoing clashes around Bambari in Ouaka prefecture and Bakouma in Mbomou prefecture.
In a statement issued by its President for April, the Council urged armed groups — in particular the Front patriotique pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique and the Unité pour la paix en Centrafrique — to honour their commitment to the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation process. It deplored all attacks against civilians and expressed deep concern over the humanitarian situation in the country.
The Council welcomed the significant role of President Faustin Archange Touadera in stabilizing the country, promoting peace and reconciliation, building the capacity of State institutions and advancing the inclusive dialogue with the armed groups in that context, among other efforts.
Recalling the urgent need to bring to justice those responsible for international humanitarian law violations and human rights abuses, the Council called for the swift operationalization of the Special Criminal Court. It also acknowledged the African Initiative for a Peace and Reconciliation Agreement between the Government and all armed groups in the Central African Republic.
In that context, the Council encouraged all Member States to disburse pledges made at the international conference in Brussels on 17 November 2016, as well as at the African Solidarity Conference in Addis Ababa on 1 February 2017, in support of the country’s peacebuilding priorities.
The meeting began at 11:55 a.m. and ended at 11:57 a.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2017/5 reads as follows:
“The Security Council expresses concern at the ongoing clashes between armed groups, in particular around Bambari in the Ouaka prefecture, and, most recently, in Bakouma in the Mbomou prefecture, which have caused heavy civilian losses and significant population displacement.
“The Security Council deplores all attacks against civilians, abuses and violations of human rights and the looting of humanitarian premises. The Security Council is deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in the country, including the situation of refugees and internally displaced persons, where nearly half of the estimated 4.6 million Central Africans are in need of humanitarian assistance.
“The Security Council strongly condemns violence perpetrated by armed groups and their attempts to forcefully gain control of territory and resources, and urges all armed groups, in particular the Front patriotique pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique and the Unité pour la paix en Centrafrique, to immediately stop all violence and to honour their commitment, without any restriction, to the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation process.
“The Security Council renews its support for President Touadera and welcomes his significant role to stabilize the country, promote peace and reconciliation, advance plans for disarmament, enable long-term development, and build the capacity of State institutions and basic service delivery, with the support of regional and international partners. The Security Council welcomes the efforts of President Touadera to advance the inclusive dialogue with the armed groups on disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation.
“The Security Council also renews its support to Special Representative of the Secretary-General Parfait Onanga-Anyanga and to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in the implementation of its mandate in support of Central African Republic authorities, including through the adoption of a proactive and robust posture towards the armed groups.
“The Security Council recalls the principles for national reconciliation and reform that were agreed upon at the Bangui Forum in May 2015 and that are stated in the Republican Pact for Peace, National Reconciliation and Reconstruction, as well as agreements on the principles for disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation, justice and reconciliation, and security sector reform.
“The Security Council also recalls the urgent and imperative need to hold accountable and bring to justice those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including sexual and gender based violence. The Security Council further recalls the strong rejection of impunity demonstrated by the Central African Republic people during the Bangui Forum and its preparatory consultations.
“The Security Council welcomes the progress in preparation of the Special Criminal Court and calls for its swift operationalization.
“The Security Council acknowledges the African Initiative for a Peace and Reconciliation Agreement between the Government and all armed groups in the Central African Republic, which, in support of the efforts of President Touadera, is aimed at sustainably promoting reconciliation and inclusive governance in the Central African Republic, and which will build upon the outcomes and recommendations of the Bangui Forum. The Security Council welcomes the commitment of the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of the Central Africa States, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and other regional partners to work together for the success of peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic.
“The Security Council encourages Member States to disburse pledges made at the international conference in Brussels (17 November 2016), as well as the African Solidarity Conference held in Addis Ababa (1 February 2017), in support of the implementation of the country’s peacebuilding priorities as outlined in the Central African Republic’s National Strategy for Recovery and Peace consolidation and stresses in this context the valuable role of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission in bringing strategic advice and fostering a more coherent, coordinated and integrated approach to peacebuilding efforts and taking forward the commitments reflected in the Framework for Mutual Accountability.
“The Security Council recalls the United Nations Zero-Tolerance Policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, and its relevant related United Nations resolutions, and urges all non-United Nations forces authorized under a Security Council mandate to take adequate measures to prevent and combat impunity for sexual exploitation and abuse by their personnel.”