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Security Council urges opposing Central African groups to hold dialogue

Security Council urges opposing Central African groups to hold dialogue

Council President Amb. Wang Guangya
The Security Council today called on authorities in the Central African Republic (CAR) to hold a dialogue with the country’s opposition forces and civil society groups amid mounting concern at the continuing violence and instability in the impoverished country.

Council members, who heard a briefing from Lamine Cissé, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative and the head of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in the country (BONUCA), also said they remain willing to consider deploying a multi-dimensional UN mission to the northeast of the CAR and to neighbouring Chad.

In a statement to the press, Ambassador Wang Guangya of China, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month, said the 15-member panel was encouraging dialogue between the Government and others to try to consolidate peace and stability in the country.

“They encouraged the Government to continue its discussions with rebel groups in order to restore security to the whole territory, and called on these groups to act in accordance with the constitutional and legal framework by giving up any armed activity,” he said.

The security situation has been worst in recent months in the northwest and northeast, where fighting has forced an estimated 200,000 people to become internally displaced and thousands of others to flee to Chad or Cameroon as refugees.

In his most recent report on the work of BONUCA, the Secretary-General called the situation in the country extremely precarious, citing deteriorating humanitarian conditions, repeated violations of human rights, a culture of impunity, a lack of dialogue and tolerance between opposing groups, and persistent poverty and corruption.

Today’s statement called on Central African authorities to tackle impunity and expressed serious concern at the human rights situation and reports that Government forces have used disproportionate force in their fight against rebels.

The statement condemned the human rights and international humanitarian law violations by both sides in the conflict, and noted the continuing activities of armed bandits as well.

But it voiced appreciation for the efforts of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa, which has deployed a multinational force in the CAR, as well as to the African Union and the European Union for maintaining their political and financial support.

The CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the Council statement said the Government and its international partners must intensify their efforts to fight poverty and promote sustainable economic development.