Delegation of the European Union to Timor-Leste

EU Statement – United Nations Security Council: The situation in the Central African Republic

New York, 21/02/2020 - 15:41, UNIQUE ID: 200221_12
Statements on behalf of the EU

20 February 2020, New York - Statement on behalf of the European Union by Ambassador Olof Skoog, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at Security Council meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic

Mr. President, distinguished members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to brief the Security Council on behalf of the European Union.

It is today twelve months ago, that the Government of the Central African Republic and 14 Armed Groups had signed the Bangui Peace Agreement.

The Report by the Secretary General gives a clear picture of the accomplishments in the implementation of the peace process as well as of the remaining challenges.

I will focus on those areas where the European Union sees the biggest need for all stakeholders to act with resolve.

Let me just mention what we see as positive developments. Firstly, this is the only one among the many earlier agreements signed in CAR that is holding. This is not a minor achievement. This dynamics needs to be consolidated and the confidence in the Agreement kept and strengthened. This will be possible only with effective implementation.

This result is largely due to the determination of President Touadéra and his Government to maintain a courageous, conciliatory posture and a realistic approach to the situation. We welcome the appeasing approach adopted in dealing with the former Presidents' return to the country. They have to become part of the process. We also commend the Government for pursuing the dialogue with other stakeholders, including former high officials, with Armed Groups as well as with the region. Holding bilateral Joint Commissions with neighbours of CAR helps building confidence and solidifying peace.

We also see progress in setting up the Special Mixed Security Units, which benefit from significant EU support. We witness the first encouraging signs of State authority returning to some regions, and as the deployment of the national Armed Forces is progressing, we should ensure that the process receives the necessary support in order to be sustainable and credible.  

By now, all stakeholders should realize that the Bangui Agreement – despite its imperfections – remains the only joint and viable framework for peace, where each and anyone – signatories, facilitators, civil society, political actors, and partners of the Country – have a role to play to make it work.

Mr. President,

Permettez-moi également d'évoquer aujourd'hui les prochaines étapes et les défis auxquels nous devons faire face.

Un an après la signature de l'Accord, plusieurs groupes armés ne respectent toujours pas leurs engagements. Les violences qui ont éclatées dimanche dernier à Birao entre deux groupes armés n'étaient malheureusement pas un incident isolé. Il s'agissait d'une opération planifiée et perpétrée contre l'Accord de paix. Au final, ce sont les populations locales qui en sont les premières victimes, et le travail des humanitaires qui s'en trouve empêché.

Aucune raison ne saurait justifier ces violences. L'Union européenne exhorte les parties à respecter leur parole. Nous demandons aussi au Gouvernement, aux garants et aux facilitateurs de l'Accord de Bangui d'agir et d'envisager sérieusement l'imposition de sanctions contre les responsables. Cette situation intolérable doit cesser.

La violence est aussi le résultat d'une culture d'impunité qui n'a que trop duré. La lutte contre l'impunité doit se poursuivre et la Justice doit être placée en son centre. C'est une disposition essentielle de l'Accord, qui est indispensable au soutien de la population.

En outre, le processus de DDR doit être accéléré et conduit de manière synchronisée avec la mise en place des Unités Spéciales Mixtes de Sécurité. En la matière, les critères spécifiques pour la démobilisation, le désarmement, la validation et l'entraiment doivent être suivis à la lettre.

Nous constatons malheureusement que certains groupes armés ne respectent pas ces critères, pourtant précis. Au lieu de s'en tenir à leurs obligations, plusieurs leaders essaient d'en renégocier les termes. A nouveau, nous enjoignons les garants et facilitateurs de l'Accord à prendre les mesures qui s'imposent.

Mr. President,

This brings me to the role of the European Union. We stand by our commitment to work with the Government, with CAR people and all other stakeholders. Our commitment is also clearly testified by the EU's significant support to the forthcoming elections. The EU will shoulder roughly half of the estimated budget and plans to deploy electoral experts. We hope that other donors will follow our example. Elections are essential to consolidate democracy and democratic institutions in CAR. Postponement is not an option. They must take place. Political leaders must show responsibility by contributing to a peaceful, transparent and inclusive electoral process. Likewise, MINUSCA's support for security and logistics remains of critical importance. The constitutional calendar needs to be respected.

Finally, the EU is deploying a civilian mission, EUAM CAR, to support reform and deployment of Internal Security Forces. The EU Advisory Mission will complement the valued work done by our military mission, EUTM RCA. The EUTM continues to work in full transparency, coordination and cohesion together with MINUSCA and others.

A final word to reiterate our commitment to a solid partnership with the UN and the African Union, as shown among other, during our joint trilateral high-level missions to CAR. In this regard, I would like to stress that the recent campaigns of manipulation and disinformation against international partners in CAR, notably MINUSCA, is a matter of serious concern. I want to reiterate our full support to the work of the Mission.

CAR has the potential to become a success story for the Security Council, for all of us and, most of all, for CAR itself. This will be possible only if we remain united, engaged and concretely mobilized behind and with the CAR people. They deserve it.

Mr. President, thank you very much.

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