The Security Council today expressed its concern at the grave security situation in parts of Central Africa, particularly the ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) and its regional impact, the continuing threat of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), and the expansion of Boko Haram terrorist activities into countries in the sub-region.
“The Security Council reiterates its strong condemnation of the appalling attacks, war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out by the LRA,” the Statement said, also citing the group’s “violations of international humanitarian law and abuses of human rights, including the LRA's recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, killing and maiming, rape, sexual slavery and other sexual violence, and abductions.”
Demanding an immediate end to all attacks by the LRA, the Council urged the group to release all those abducted, and to disarm and demobilize. It welcomed progress made with regard to ending LRA war crimes and crimes against humanity in Central Africa, and reiterated its resolve to maintain the current momentum until the threat posed by the LRA was permanently ended.
Noting that much of this violence was taking place within the remit of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the Council encouraged the Office to continue supporting States with elections, including through the promotion of women’s political participation.
UNOCA was also urged to, in its coordination role, as well as the UN’s missions and other presences in the region to enhance efforts in support of implementation of the UN Regional Strategy to Address the Threat and Impact of the Activities of the LRA. It encouraged the Secretary-General to optimize UNOCA’s efforts, including through provision of staff and support to counter-LRA efforts.
The Council reiterated its strong support for the African Union Regional Cooperation Initiative Against the LRA and encouraged LRA affected and neighbouring States to cooperate with the African Union-Regional Task Force, which it commended for “significant progress.”
It also underlined the need for all military action against the LRA to be conducted in compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law, as applicable, and to minimise the risk of harm to civilians.
Council members also expressed deep concern at the terrorist attacks conducted by Boko Haram since 2008, which have caused large-scale and devastating loss of life and represent a threat to the stability and peace of West and Central Africa, and were concerned that Boko Haram’s activities continued to have an adverse humanitarian impact in the region.