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Addressing Security Council, UN envoy urges aid to Central African Republic

Addressing Security Council, UN envoy urges aid to Central African Republic

Briefing the Security Council today on the situation in the Central African Republic, a senior United Nations envoy urged support for the country, which is still recovering from an attempted coup d'état last May.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative for the Central African Republic, Lamine Cissé, said that since the 28 May coup, the authorities in the country were working with different partners to normalize the situation. On the political level, tensions created by the failed coup were perceptibly easing. He welcomed the fact that a commission of inquiry set up to deal with the issue would soon begin its work. For its part, the UN Peace-building Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) was working to mediate among the various political forces in the country.

On the economic front, Mr. Cissé called the consequences of the aborted coup "disastrous," noting that the Government was responding with efforts to obtain urgent assistance from the international community.

Insecurity persists in Bangui and in the country's interior, according to the envoy, but the authorities are working to re-establish security, especially in the capital. The Government remained concerned about the approximately 23,000 civil and military refugees from the Central African Republic currently living in Zongo in the neighbouring Republic of Congo.

The Special Representative noted that the Secretary-General has called for prompt and massive assistance to the Central African Republic in a number of areas, including financial, security and institutional support, and stressed that the World Bank should play a role in this effort.

Mr. Cissé introduced key recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's latest report on the situation in the Central African Republic. That report recommends extending the mandate of BONUCA through December 2002 and calls for the mission to focus its activities on promoting political dialogue, providing technical assistance, promoting disarmament, addressing the human rights situation and mobilizing resources to help with the economic recovery.

In the debate which followed, participants expressed support for the work of BONUCA and called for greater efforts to foster political dialogue in the country.