The African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, the President of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission, Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Veríssimo, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean‑Pierre Lacroix, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, together spoke by video conference with the President of the Central African Republic, His Excellency Mr Faustin‑Archange Touadéra, on 2 March 2021. Their discussion related mainly to the political situation and the peace process in the Central African Republic. The video conference was held as part of the joint initiatives being taken by the African Union, the ECCAS, the European Union and the United Nations in support of the Central African Republic.
The senior officials from the African Union, the ECCAS, the United Nations and the European Union congratulated President Touadéra on his re-election. They invite all national actors to accept the results of the elections as declared by the Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic. They call on them to work together to create conditions conducive to the completion of the electoral process within the legal deadlines and in a free, transparent, credible and inclusive way, in order to anchor the Central African Republic in the democratic process. They welcome President Touadéra’s desire to unite all Central Africans without distinction, as expressed during his speech to the nation on 18 January, and his overtures to the democratic opposition. They also note the ongoing efforts to open a political dialogue with the various national actors.
To this end, the senior officials from the African Union, the ECCAS, the United Nations and the European Union emphasise that this process of open and inclusive political dialogue – which must, from the outset, involve the public authorities, the opposition and societal actors – must contribute to making the country’s institutions more representative and inclusive, and to promoting national confidence, unity and reconciliation. They add that the results of the process of political dialogue should also help to create conditions favourable to strengthening democracy and good governance, ensuring humanitarian access, promoting human rights and allowing the sustainable return of internally displaced persons and refugees. In addition, the senior officials of the partner organisations encourage the Central African government and its partners to maintain their efforts to reduce the population’s suffering, in particular during the pandemic, including through humanitarian aid and by implementing socio-economic development projects targeting vulnerable groups and enclaves.
The senior officials from the African Union, the ECCAS, the United Nations and the European Union emphasise the urgent need to relaunch the peace and reconciliation process, including by implementing the Political Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, which remains the only common and viable framework for a lasting solution. They encourage all stakeholders – the authorities, armed groups, societal actors, women and young people – to re-engage in the peace process, concentrating on dialogue, inclusion and consensus-building in order to find lasting political solutions to the Central African crisis, thereby bringing about a real improvement in the effectiveness of the process and thus allowing the population to enjoy the benefits of peace. They welcome the ongoing efforts to assess the implementation of the Political Agreement. They call on armed groups to immediately stop engaging in armed violence which only serves to increase the population’s suffering and compromise national stability.
The senior officials from the African Union, the ECCAS, the United Nations and the European Union strongly condemn the attacks on the civilian population, humanitarian workers and United Nations peacekeepers, and likewise all forms of serious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by any of the parties, including defence and security forces. They call on the Central African authorities to conduct the necessary investigations in order to bring to justice the perpetrators and instigators of these serious crimes, which cannot be allowed to go unpunished. They also denounce hate speech, incitement to violence and disinformation, and encourage the national authorities to take decisive action against such conduct.
The senior officials from the African Union, the ECCAS, the United Nations and the European Union emphasise the importance of continued support and commitment on the part of regional actors. They encourage the building of relationships based on trust and cooperation, in particular with neighbouring countries, including through cross-border security cooperation. They also call for better coordination of regional and international initiatives, in cooperation with the Central African authorities, in order to promote coherence in the peace process and maximise the impact of action taken by the international community. They call on all partners of the Central African Republic to provide an urgent response, appropriate to the humanitarian and sustainable development needs. Lastly, they renew their commitment to the people and the government of the Central African Republic in their efforts to consolidate peace.
Done at Addis Ababa - Libreville - New York - Brussels, 2 March 2021
African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smaïl Chergui
President of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Commission, Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Veríssimo
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean‑Pierre Lacroix
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell