It is now time to end the violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) and consolidate democracy, the UN Secretary-General told the country’s legislators on Friday.
Addressing the National Assembly in the capital, Bangui, António Guterres underscored the international community’s solidarity and commitment to the nation.
A UN operation has been in the CAR since 2014, following violence between mainly Muslim and Christian communities, leaving one in four citizens displaced.
Dianne Penn reports.
The UN chief paid tribute to the courage, resilience and determination of the people of the Central African Republic to overcome great adversity.
He assured the country of international support as it continues to face challenges, including insecurity, a humanitarian crisis and “a slow and difficult progress towards development.”
Although the situation remains fragile, the Secretary-General stated that “we must turn the tide.”
Speaking in French, he stated that with major institutions now in place, “the time has come to end the violence and consolidate democracy,” stressing that he will strongly advocate on behalf the country.
While peacekeeping operations save lives, Mr Guterres also acknowledged that actions of some soldiers have tarnished the image of the blue helmets.
He recalled his commitment to fighting sexual exploitation and abuse, adding that “We must make our zero-tolerance policy a reality.”
Dianne Penn, United Nations.