Central African Republic: Security Council Press Statement
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Masood Khan ( Pakistan):
The members of the Security Council were briefed on 3 January 2013, by Jeffrey D. Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, on the situation in the Central African Republic.
The members of the Security Council expressed their concern regarding the “Seleka” coalition’s advance towards Bangui since the last Security Council press statement of 27 December, reiterated their urgent call for an end to “Seleka’s” military offensive, and stressed that the current situation in the Central African Republic cannot be resolved militarily. They called again on all parties to seek a peaceful solution by engaging constructively, without preconditions, and in good faith in the negotiations to be held in Libreville beginning 8 January under the auspices of the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS). The members of the Security Council urged all parties to abide by the Constitution and encouraged the Government, armed groups, political opposition, and other interested parties in the Central African Republic, to participate in dialogue and to use this opportunity to negotiate a comprehensive political solution to the long-standing problems in the country, while respecting the 2008 Libreville Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
In this regard, the members of the Security Council recalled their support to the work of ECCAS and the contribution made by countries of the region to identify ways out of the crisis. They welcomed the visit of the African Union President to the Central African Republic and the expression of support by the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union for the steps taken by countries of the region. They also expressed their support for the efforts of Special Representative Margaret Vogt to help resolve the crisis.
Taking note of the recent announcement by the “Seleka” coalition of a halt in military activities, the members of the Security Council reiterated their demand that the “Seleka” coalition of armed groups cease all hostilities, withdraw from seized cities, and cease attempts to advance further. These military activities gravely undermine security and stability of the Central African Republic, constitute a threat to the civilian population, and hinder the provision of humanitarian assistance. The members of the Council urged all parties to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access to the affected civilian population.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern about reports of the targeting of ethnic minorities, arrests, detentions, looting, as well as recruitment and use of children in armed conflict in the Central African Republic and strongly reiterated their call on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians and to respect human rights, and emphasized that those responsible for such violations should be held accountable.
The members of the Security Council emphasized the responsibility of the Government of the Central African Republic to maintain law and order and to ensure the safety and security of the civilian population.