New head of UN peace-building efforts in Central African Republic arrives in country

9 July 2013

The new top envoy for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the Central African Republic (CAR), General Babacar Gaye, arrived today in the troubled country’s capital, Bangui.

Mr. Gaye, who is also head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office for the CAR, known as BINUCA said on his arrival that he was honored to be in Central Africa at a crucial moment for the country.

He reaffirmed the commitment of BINUCA and the UN country team to pursue “the necessary assistance to the Central African people to put in place needed priorities and build the foundation for sustainable development.”

Since the Séléka rebel coalition launched an offensive in December 2012 in the CAR, 1.2 million people have been cut off from essential services and human rights violations have been widespread.

Mr. Gaye noted that the four priority axes of intervention in the country, as identified by the UN, were restoration of security throughout the national territory, respect for human rights, humanitarian assistance and the re-launch of political dialogue.

“I intend to meet in the coming days with political stakeholders, civil society and representatives the Central African Republic’s partners,” he said. I also intend to make contact with the authorities of neighboring countries and religious and international partners,” he added.

BINUCA’s conversion in January 2010 to an “integrated” mission was designed to ensure the coherence of peace-building support activities by the various UN entities present in the CAR.

Early in the current crisis, a peace accord, known as the Libreville Agreements, was signed on 11 of January in Gabon, calling for the establishment of National Transitional Council that would elect a transitional government.

The rebels, however, claiming the Government was not complying with its obligations under the accord, continued to gain territory and overran Bangui in late March.

At least 4.1 million people, almost half of whom are children, have been directly affected by the crisis and more than 37,000 people have fled the country in the past four months due to the violence.

Prior to his appointment in BINUCA, Lieutenant General Gaye, from Senegal, served as Assistant Secretary-General and Military Adviser for Peacekeeping Operations.


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