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Facing crisis, Central African Republic urgently needs aid, Annan reports

Facing crisis, Central African Republic urgently needs aid, Annan reports

In the aftermath of May's attempted coup d'état, the Central African Republic is "in a crisis situation" and urgently requires international assistance, Secretary-General Kofi Annan warns in a new report to the Security Council.

According to the report, the Central African Republic is facing an "economic emergency" which must be addressed through prompt assistance from the international community. Mr. Annan urges bilateral and multilateral partners to support a new $75 million "minimum plan of action for social and economic recovery" elaborated by the country's authorities.

The Secretary-General also calls for support to the Government's efforts to restructure the armed forces. "I encourage the international community and the development partners of the Central African Republic, out of concern for peace and stability in this country, to provide urgent support to the restructuring of the defence and security forces, the collection of weapons and the redeployment plan drawn up by the Government," he writes.

Noting that "poverty is the breeding ground" for the country's instability, the Secretary-General says efforts should be made to provide substantial assistance "to prevent this situation from deteriorating and the Central African Republic from continuing to be the 'soft underbelly' of the subregion."

The report also stresses the responsibility of the Central African Republic's own people to establish the conditions for a political system based on consensus. The Secretary-General calls for them to urgently re-establish political dialogue, restore confidence among themselves, foster consultations and promote tolerance.

"The majority must allow the opposition to carry out its activities freely and the opposition, while performing in a constructive and responsible manner its role of critic and monitor of the actions of the Government pending the next elections, must let the majority govern," writes the Secretary-General. "It is on these conditions alone that the Central African Republic will be able to emerge from this interminable crisis situation which seems to be its defining characteristic."

The report also details the activities of the United Nations Peace-building and Support Office in the Central African Republic, which is helping to strengthen the capacity of national institutions to promote human rights while working to ease tensions in the region.