The United Nations peacekeeping chief finished a four-day trip to the Central African Republic today, his visit to the country coinciding with the UN stabilization Mission there achieving full operational capability for the first time.
“I leave the Central African Republic calm and reasonably optimistic,” said Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations during a press conference in the capital, Bangui, today at the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
“Protection of civilians is improving continuously because we have developed targeted actions and coordinated protection,” he added.
Reaching full operational capability with the deployment of additional capabilities authorized by the Security Council after the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the country (BINUCA) was subsumed by MINUSCA, the Mission, set up in September 2014, has developed an emergency operational plan to support national authorities in ensuring the holding of elections in a secure and timely manner before August this year.
Six months after the military and police components of MINUSCA began their work and on the day the Mission’s mandate was renewed by the Security Council in New York, Mr. Ladsous recalled that it was a time to measure the achievements of the Mission and he welcomed the work done by the Mission so far.
Reiterating the determination of the Mission to meet the challenge that is still posed in the security realm, he looked forward to improvements, saying that the arrival of attack helicopters and drones would help. He added that he hoped the political transition would be significantly boosted by the Bangui Forum.
“This momentous event will launch major reforms to the Central African people and will allow the Transition to give way to a democratically elected regime,” he said. “The Bangui Forum, followed by inclusive and credible elections, will be a key element in the successful conclusion of the transition,” he said, referring to the national gathering that will take place on 4 May.
He also pointed to the international community’s mobilization to deal with the crisis, saying it “reflects a unity of purpose to tackle the country’s long-standing crisis and treat the root causes of the conflict.”