Security Council strongly condemns military coup in Central African Republic

20 March 2003

The United Nations Security Council today forcefully condemned the coup d’état and accompanying violence and pillaging that took place last weekend in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Calling for calm and respect for persons and property in the CAR after the 15 March coup, the President of the Council, Ambassador Mamady Traoré of Guinea, said in a press statement that members had invited the Central African leadership “to begin a genuine, political, all-inclusive dialogue immediately in order to restore legality, national cohesion and civil peace and ensure the early restoration of democracy.”

Ambassador Traoré said Council members also reiterated their full support for the actions of the Secretary-General’s representative, Gen. Lamine Cissé, as head of the UN Peace-building Mission in the CAR (BONUCA).

The members, who had been briefed earlier Thursday on the situation in the CAR by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Tuliameni Kalomoh, also deplored the losses suffered by the regional force and renewed their support for the efforts of the Central African Economic Community and Monetary Union (CEMAC), and the African Union.

From the CAR capital of Bangui, General Cissé has reported on contacts he has had with a number of key actors, according to a UN spokesman.

During a meeting with the coup leader, Gen. Francois Bozizé, General Cissé said he stressed the need for national reconciliation of all Central Africans, including the former collaborators with President Ange-Félix Patassé.

The UN envoy also recommended that General Bozizé meet representatives of all political parties, including the former ruling party, as well members of civil society. General Bozizé was also asked to ensure the protection of diplomatic missions and international organizations in an effort to restore confidence.

In the aftermath of the coup, looters attacked the homes of a number of UN personnel as well a World Food Programme warehouse.

 

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