CAR: Security Council renews MINUSCA mandate [fr]
Renewal of MINUSCA mandate
Explanation of vote by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United
Security Council – 13 december 2018
France welcomes the adoption of resolution 2448 (2018), which renews the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) for one year. In a context that is characterized by ongoing serious violence carried out by armed groups, as unfortunately evidenced by the current situation in Alindao, and with a heavy toll paid by the civilian population, humanitarian personnel and Blue Helmets, it was essential for the Security Council to reaffirm its support for MINUSCA and the Central African authorities.
In order to promote consensus, we have sought relentlessly, through extensive consultations and, of course, with respect for each other’s positions, to strike a delicate balance among the various positions expressed during the negotiations. All the members of the Council actively participated in those negotiations and shared their sometimes diverging positions, which we have spared no effort to reconcile.
In that context, we solemnly call on everyone to actively and in good faith implement the resolution by putting the interests of the Central African people above our national interests. Action in favour of the Central African Republic can be achieved neither through a solitary and exclusive approach, nor by methods that ignore the solutions provided by our African partners themselves — first and foremost, the African Union — nor through initiatives that call into question the decisions of the Security Council.
To return to what should be at the heart of our common concerns, the MINUSCA mandate, I would like to underscore three points here with regard to the important resolution that we have just adopted.
First, the resolution maintains MINUSCA’s robust format and mandate, which is key. MINUSCA, which operates in a difficult environment, has repeatedly demonstrated that it can act proactively and robustly, when necessary, to protect the civilian population — particularly the most vulnerable, namely, women and children — from the threat of armed groups. Now that MINUSCA has reached its full operational capacity with the arrival of the last contingents, which resulted from the increase in the troop ceiling authorized last year, we hope that MINUSCA will be able to pursue its efforts to enhance its mobility and improve its operational performance. It must also intensify the efforts already under way to prevent cases of sexual exploitation and abuse and ensure that they do not go unpunished. In that regard, I recall the importance of the Special Criminal Court and cooperation with the International Criminal Court.
Secondly, the resolution also reinforces MINUSCA’s role, in accordance with the Secretary- General’s recommendations, in supporting the political process in the Central African Republic, under the aegis of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic, which is also absolutely essential. The African Initiative is the only direct and inclusive dialogue process between the Central African Government and armed groups from which a comprehensive peace agreement can emerge.
In that context, we welcome the decision of the United Nations and the African Union to integrate MINUSCA into the African Initiative, as well as to include the Permanent Representative on the panel of facilitators. We also welcome the decision to support the African Initiative through a joint United Nations-African Union Special Envoy, and stress the importance of an early appointment at this crucial time to advance the peace and reconciliation process. Under the resolution, MINUSCA could also strengthen its substantive support for and mediation role in the African Initiative, in addition to the support it already provides in the technical, logistical and security areas. Its role as coordinator of international support for the African Initiative will also be bolstered.
Thirdly and lastly, the resolution authorizes additional support from MINUSCA to the Central African authorities for the extension of the State’s authority throughout Central African territory. I am thinking in particular of the logistical support, albeit limited, that MINUSCA will be able to provide to the Central African armed forces trained or certified by the European Union Military Training Mission in the Central African Republic, as well as the internal security forces, in order to allow them to gradually redeploy within the Central African territory and conduct joint operations to ensure the safety of local populations. Negotiations on that point have been difficult. That is a fact, and expectations should not be unrealistic. MINUSCA is already working with armed forces of the Central African Republic who have either been trained or certified by EUTM RCA and could therefore continue to do so by adding logistical support to the extent that its resources permit and within its areas of deployment.
France is well aware of the commitment and sacrifices that MINUSCA and its civilian, police and military staff are making in order to promote peace in the Central African Republic, and will continue to give them its firm support both on the ground and here in New York. We will also continue to give our full support to President Touadera and the people of the Central African Republic, who have suffered far too long in this crisis. I want to say once again that France’s motive is its desire to support the people of the Central African Republic, and that motive should guide the action and commitment of every Council member.