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As part of her tour of the Sahel region and the Central African Republic, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini today met with the President of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, in Bangui.
Coming at an important point in the peace and reconciliation process in the Central African Republic (CAR), this meeting provided an opportunity to review the latest developments since the peace and reconciliation agreement between the authorities of the Central African Republic and the 14 main armed groups was signed on 6 February 2019 in Bangui.
The High Representative and President Touadéra emphasised that the agreement presented a historic opportunity to end the humanitarian, security and political crisis which continues to gravely affect the country's population. They discussed the progress already made in implementing the agreement and expressed their concerns about the continuing challenges and breaches of the agreement by certain armed groups.
In addition, at a meeting with the government chaired by President Touadéra, the High Representative stressed the need for the signatory parties to show responsibility and openness, and to honour their commitments; she specifically emphasised the need to speed up the implementation of the agreement, demobilisation, disarmament, reintegration and the transitional justice process. The High Representative also called on the guarantors of the agreement to use their authority to ensure it is applied more robustly. In this context, the region and the international partners of the CAR, together with civil society, women and youth, should play their part fully. The High Representative reiterated the population's high expectations regarding justice and the fight against impunity, as well as concerning security and the restoration of the State's authority and basic services throughout the country.
The High Representative and President Touadéra reviewed cooperation between the European Union and the CAR, taking an integrated approach. They acknowledged that the EU remains the key and dependable partner for the Central African Republic, drawing on all its political, security, humanitarian and development cooperation instruments. The EU's priorities are aligned with those of the government: meeting the population's expectations, particularly in terms of security, justice/reconciliation, development and governance/rule of law, and humanitarian concerns. Thus, the EU's involvement in the country continues to address a number of factors: an interest in achieving lasting stability in the country and in a region where EU and Member State resources are already significantly committed; and upholding shared values in the face of repeated human rights violations by armed groups.
The High Representative and President Touadéra made a trip to Bouar, in the west of the country, to open a military camp funded by the EU for the armed forces of the Central African Republic and to visit the new regional office of the European military training mission (EUTM RCA), which is to accompany the expansion of the armed forces of the Central African Republic and the Special Mixed Security Units provided for in the peace agreement.
Lastly, a meeting with women leaders of the Central African Republic presented an occasion to reiterate the essential role they play in the CAR's process for peace, reconciliation and recovery.
The visit to the CAR provided a further opportunity to reaffirm the strength of the special partnership between the EU and the CAR, and, for the High Representative, to assure President Touadéra of the EU's full support for sustainable development and stability in the CAR. She took the opportunity to mention the plans to enhance the EU's action in the CAR, inter alia by increasing and extending the Bêkou Trust Fund in particular for the areas of health, agriculture and rural development, and by giving consideration to a possible civilian mission to support the internal security forces of the CAR.