Senior officials from the United Nations and regional organizations have called on all political actors in the Central African Republic (CAR) to respect the final results of the recent presidential elections, and to settle any disputes peacefully and in accordance with the country’s laws.
“It will be up to the Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic to proclaim the final results and to all political actors to respect the decisions of the Court”, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations; Smaїl Chergui, African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security; Gilberto Da Piedade Veríssimo, President of the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); and Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs, said in a joint statement on Monday
They called on the Government of the Central African Republic and all political actors to favour “an inclusive, open, constructive and credible political dialogue to promote national stability.”
The officials also said that they took note of the provisional results of the 27 December elections, announced by National Elections Authority. On 4 January, the Authority said that the incumbent President, Faustin Archange Touadera won the elections.
Violence has flared in parts of the country following the elections, and on Saturday and Sunday, armed elements allied with former president François Bozizé attacked the towns of Damara and Bangassou, respectively. The attacks were repulsed by national security forces.
Peacekeepers from the UN mission in the country (known by its French acronym MINUSCA), also intervened to protect civilians, and have stepped up their patrols in the area.
Honour peace commitments
The officials cautioned against disinformation and incitement to violence and hatred, including against international personnel, aimed at compromising the electoral process. They also denounced election-related violence and called on national authorities to investigate and bring to justice those responsible.
They reminded all stakeholders of their commitments under the 2019 Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation, and urged the signatory parties to fully honour their pledges, in particular the cessation of hostilities.
The officials invited them to “re-launch the peace process, in particular by emphasizing consultation, strict compliance with commitments and accountability.”
Exercising the right to vote
They also noted preliminary reports from national and international election observation missions, adding that the citizens of CAR “demonstrated their determination” to exercise their right to vote, despite the many obstacles.
In the statement, the senior officials reaffirmed their continued solidarity and support to the Central African people in their efforts to consolidate peace and democracy, as well as stabilization, reconciliation and sustainable development, in close collaboration with other partners of CAR.
Insecurity and humanitarian crisis
A landlocked country in central Africa and roughly the size of France, CAR has been plagued by conflict and insecurity, and large parts of the country suffer from armed group violence and criminal activities. There is also a steady increase in human rights and humanitarian law violations, in spite of the 2019 peace deal between the Government and 14 non-State armed groups, according to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
About 2.8 million people – 57 per cent of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The situation has been further complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, with rising hunger, loss of livelihoods, closure of schools, and a reported increase in violence against women and children.