Amid the ongoing violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and the World Bank, is working hard to re-establish primary public services in the country, such as the payment of civil servant salaries.
As part of its efforts to safeguard core Government services in the country’s war-torn capital, Bangui, UNDP announced yesterday that it has transferred around $4.6 million from the UN Peacebuilding Fund to the Bank of Central African States, which will cover 3,417 police and gendarmerie salaries through August. The remaining outstanding payroll will be covered by the World Bank.
Police officers have been patrolling the streets of the capital with the African-led peacekeeping force known as MISCA and the French Sangaris force, however, they often do not receive any monetary compensation.
“If police aren’t on a proper payroll, the chances they will help to maintain law and order are very slim. In the present situation, which is extremely volatile, making sure they get a salary payment is a good start,” noted Aurélien Agbénonci, Resident Representative of the UNDP in CAR.
The sectarian violence in CAR, compounded by a complete breakdown in security, State authority and the rule of law, has resulted in thousands of deaths, forced hundreds of thousands to flee and created a burgeoning humanitarian crisis.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed on more than one occasion the importance of immediate global action to strengthen and stabilize the security situation in the country, in order to lay down the basis for the restoration of the justice sector and eventual reconciliation.
The payroll coverage was welcomedlast month by the Prime Minister, who said he believes that it was “dictated by the need to respect the basic rules of good governance”.