Stressing the urgent need to end impunity in the Central African Republic (CAR) and bring to justice those who violate humanitarian law, the United Nations Security Council today renewed its sanctions against individuals or groups implicated in the country’s ongoing sectarian tensions.
In today’s unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member Council noted the critical importance of effectively implementing the sanctions regime as the situation in CAR “continues to constitute a treat to international peace and security in the region.”
Plagued by decades of instability and fighting, the country witnessed a resumption of violence in December 2012 when the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks. A peace agreement was reached in January 2013, but the rebels seized the capital, Bangui, in March, forcing President François Bozizé to flee.
A transitional government was established to restore peace but the conflict took on increasingly sectarian overtones as the mainly Christian anti-Balaka movement took up arms and inter-communal clashes erupted again. The UN recently reported an upsurge in violence, in particular last September and October, committed by armed elements.
In light of this, the Council today renewed a series of sanctions until 31 January 2017, calling on all UN Member States to maintain a series of measures, including an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze.
It applies to those designated by the Sanctions Committee “as engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the CAR, including acts that threaten or impede the political transition process, or the stabilization and reconciliation process or that fuel violence.”
The resolution also emphasized that any sustainable solution to the crisis should be “CAR-owned,” and called upon the transitional authorities to hold legislative elections and the second round of the presidential elections “in a free, fair, transparent and inclusive manner.”
According to the agreed time frame, the transition should be ending by the last day of March.
Meanwhile, the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) and the French forces were commended by the Security Council for their ongoing work to helping the current authorities improve the security situation, which remains fragile.