Global perspective Human stories

Central African Republic: Security Council reiterates call for national talks

Central African Republic: Security Council reiterates call for national talks

Expressing deep concern at the "precarious" situation in the Central African Republic, the Security Council today reiterated its call for all parties in the country to engage in political dialogue, national reconciliation and respect for human rights.

In a Presidential statement read out by French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte, the Council called on the Central African authorities to follow internationally accepted standards for due process in the course of investigations and court trials of individuals involved in the coup attempt last May. "These procedures should be transparent and should not be allowed to aggravate inter-ethnic relations" in the country, he said. "The refugees who left the country after the failed coup should be able to return in safety without fear of persecution on ethnic basis."

The Council also underlined the need to continue restructuring the country's armed forces "to enable them to fulfil their role effectively, loyally and impartially in the service of the Central African people," Ambassador Levitte said, recalling the importance of implementing an effective arms collection programme.

The Council also encouraged the international community to make substantial and urgent contributions to the country's recovery while stressing that the efficiency of such a contribution would greatly depend on the efforts of the Government itself. "The Council emphasizes that the issues of external debt and payment of arrears of salary for civil servants need to be urgently addressed," Ambassador Levitte said.

The statement also took note of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's intention, in coordination with the country's Government, to extend and strengthen the mandate of the United Nations Bureau for the Peace-building Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA).

In addition, the Council encouraged the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the international financial institutions to consider ways of strengthening the capacities of the Government in the management of its economic and financial affairs, including by lending high-level experts. It also urged the Bretton Woods institutions to show "exceptional solicitude" towards the Central African Republic.