Security Council calls for national dialogue in Central African Republic

12 December 2007

Concerned about ongoing insecurity in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today urged the Government to redouble its efforts to address the country’s ongoing challenges, and to hold a national dialogue with all actors without delay.

The Council “urged the Government to hold that dialogue as soon as possible and called for the full participation of all the country’s political and civil society stakeholders,” in a statement to the press read out by Ambassador Marcello Spatafora of Italy, which holds the 15-member body’s rotating presidency this month.

Condemning the ongoing violence by armed elements, the Council called on all those groups, particularly those having signed peace agreements with the Government, to disarm without delay and to respond positively to the Government’s willingness to engage in dialogue.

Council members also called on the Government “to protect human rights, promote the rule of law and put an end to the widespread culture of impunity that prevails in the country, particularly among the security forces,” as well as to reform the security and justice sectors.

The ongoing insecurity in the CAR has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, forcing an estimated 200,000 people to become internally displaced and thousands of others to flee to Chad or Cameroon as refugees.

Earlier this year the Council authorized a European Union operation to north-eastern CAR and eastern Chad to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid. Mr. Spatafora said the Council welcomed the imminent deployment of that force, as well as the extension of the regional peacekeeping effort known as FOMUC and its intention to deploy troops in north-western CAR to respond to the growing insecurity in that area.

Yesterday the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, François Lonsény Fall, briefed the Council on the situation in the CAR as well as the activities of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in the country, known as BONUCA.

In a recent letter to the Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended that BONUCA’s mandate be extended for another year to help the country consolidate progress and prevent a relapse into conflict.

 

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