The Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) until 15 November 2021, outlining protection of civilians, supporting the peace process and preparing for elections as priorities.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2552 (2020), and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council maintained MINUSCA’s current troop levels of 11,650 military personnel and 2,080 police personnel as well as its strategic objective of creating the political, security and institutional conditions conducive to sustainably reduce the presence of armed groups and the threat they pose.
Taking note of the upcoming presidential, legislative and local elections in 2020 and 2021, the Council decided that the Mission’s mandate shall prioritize assistance to authorities in the country to encourage inclusive dialogue among all political stakeholders and to mitigate tensions throughout the electoral period. The Council also urged the Central African Republic authorities and all national stakeholders to ensure the elections are fair, free, transparent and peaceful.
Further, it called on all stakeholders to engage urgently and constructively to implement the 2019 Political Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation between the Central African Republic authorities and 14 armed groups, demanding that the latter end violations of the agreement.
The Council once again authorized MINUSCA to continue supporting the Central African Republic authorities in implementing a strategy to extend State authority as part of efforts to establish interim security and administrative arrangements acceptable to the population.
The Mission was also tasked with helping the authorities to take active steps to anticipate, deter and effectively respond to serious and credible threats to the civilian population. This shall include mitigating the risk to civilians before, during and after any military or police operation, including by tracking, preventing, minimizing and addressing civilian harm resulting from the Mission’s operations.
Speaking after the adoption, the representative of the Russian Federation said she supported the mandate’s extension as peacekeeping forces play a central role in the global peace architecture. She called for adherence to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity and urged the authorities of the Central African Republic to facilitate the assistance it is being provided.
Indonesia’s representative noted that his country is the Council member which contributes the largest number of troops to the Mission and said that protection of civilians during upcoming elections is a clear priority. The Mission is foremost a peacekeeping operation and the safety and security of its personnel is paramount, he said, welcoming language on the protection of peacekeepers included in the text. He stressed that peacekeeping troops must be ready to act in the face of changing dynamics and receive adequate resources.
The meeting began at 10:27 a.m. and ended at 10:32 a.m.