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Security Council extends life of UN mission in troubled Central African Republic

Security Council extends life of UN mission in troubled Central African Republic

Security Council
The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations political mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) by another year as it expressed deep concern about the deteriorating security situation in the impoverished nation.

In a presidential statement read out by Ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales of Peru, Council members also voiced fears that conditions could worsen further because of instability along its volatile borders with Sudan and Chad.

The statement noted the attacks by rebels since late last month on the north-eastern towns of Birao, Ouanda-Djalle and Sam Ouandja, and said the Council was concerned about the capacity of the armed forces of the CAR to deal with the insecurity, especially in the north and north-east.

The UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations has dispatched a fact-finding mission to the CAR to assess the security situation along the borders.

The mandate of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in the CAR, established in 2000 and known by the French acronym BONUCA, will now run until 31 December next year.

The Council statement said it welcomed the efforts of the CAR Government to revive dialogue with political and civil society groups, and it urged BONUCA to support the regular staging of such meetings, “which are vital to restoring trust among Central Africans and promoting lasting reconciliation.”

Council members also praised the “courageous” of the Government to try to improve the management of the national treasury and ensure transparency in economic activity and governance.

In a report to the Council last month, Secretary-General Kofi Annan also painted a grim picture of the security and human rights situation inside the CAR, which has experienced a resurgence of acts of violence by regular soldiers, unidentified armed gangs and road-blockers.