Central African Republic: Security Council Press Statement
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President María Cristina Perceval (Argentina):
On 14 August, the members of the Security Council heard a briefing on the situation in the Central African Republic from Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) Lieutenant-General (Retired) Babacar Gaye, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos and Assistant-Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic.
The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern at the security situation in the Central African Republic, characterized by a total breakdown in law and order, and the absence of the rule of law. They stressed that the armed conflict and crisis in the Central African Republic pose a serious threat to the stability of the Central African Republic and the region. They also expressed their grave concern about the significant deterioration of the humanitarian situation as well as violations of international humanitarian law and reports of widespread human rights violations, notably by Séléka elements, including those involving arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, extrajudicial killings, recruitment and use of children and attacks against civilians. They strongly condemned targeted attacks against United Nations staff.
The members of the Security Council stressed that the Central African Republic authorities bear the primary responsibility to protect civilians. They demanded that all parties refrain from any act of violence against civilians, allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout the country, and respect fully international humanitarian and human rights law. They urged the international community to respond to the United Nations’ humanitarian appeals, to meet the needs of the people of the Central African Republic. They emphasized that those responsible for violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law must be held accountable at national or international level, and noted in this regard the statement concerning the Central African Republic of 7 August 2013 of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need for swift progress on the political track, which will be vital to achieving any progress in the country. The members of the Security Council strongly urged all parties to comply with the Libreville Agreements of 11 January 2013, as well as the N’Djamena Declaration, of 18 April 2013, which provide the basis for a peaceful political resolution to the crisis in the Central African Republic. They further urged the parties to increase efforts to implement the agreement. In this regard, they called for the swift implementation of transitional arrangements, which shall lead to the holding of free, fair and transparent elections, in line with the time frame called for by the N’Djamena Declaration.
The members of the Security Council commended the efforts of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and its Mediator regarding the Central African Republic crisis, as well as the efforts of the African Union to resolve the crisis.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for the efforts of the United Nations, including through Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Lieutenant-General (Retired) Babacar Gaye, and called upon the international community to support these efforts. The members of the Security Council also expressed their support for BINUCA to address the crisis and expressed their willingness to consider BINUCA’s mandate in light of the alarming political, humanitarian and human rights crisis.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern about the upsurge in activity of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the Central African Republic due in part to the prevailing security situation. They called upon all countries, subregional and regional organizations concerned to further their efforts and enhance their coordination to address the threat posed by the LRA.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council on 19 July 2013 to authorize the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission for the Central African Republic (Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite africaine — MISCA/AFISM-CAR).
They took note in this context of the letter of the African Union dated 26 July 2013, which stressed the importance of a strong partnership with the United Nations. They also took note of the report of the Secretary-General dated 5 August 2013 and expressed their willingness to consider all potential options to stabilize the Central African Republic. They look forward to further discussions with the African Union on the swift establishment of MISCA/AFISM-CAR, which will represent a major contribution towards creating the conditions for a stable and democratic Central African Republic exercising authority over its national territory and assuming its responsibility for the protection of its civilians.