In CAR, peace means restoring the authority of the state [fr]
Statement by Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 21 June 2018
I would like to sincerely thank our three briefers for their very insightful statements, which highlight the attention that the Security Council must continue paying to the situation in the Central African Republic.
France is concerned about the ongoing acts of violence committed by armed groups in Bangui and in surrounding areas against civilian populations, humanitarian workers and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). We are also concerned about efforts to incite hatred and violence and to use religion for criminal purposes. We will continue to closely monitor developments in the situation. In that regard, we believe that it is essential that the Security Council continue to show its full support for President Touadera and the Central African authorities in their efforts to foster national reconciliation and restore State authority, which are both key to the success of the process under way. It is also vital to continue to encourage the Central African authorities to work to restore justice, disarm armed groups and rebuild the country’s economy. As worrisome as the current situation is, we should not disregard the fact that progress has been made and that a solution to the crisis is possible.
Violence perpetrated by armed groups continues to destabilize the country. It is accompanied by unacceptable human rights violations and causes the humanitarian situation to continue to deteriorate. It is therefore essential that all armed groups in Bangui and in the rest of the country stop all efforts to destabilize the country, as they are at variance with the commitments made before the panel of facilitators of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic.
The Council’s message to armed groups must be extremely strong. They must lay down their weapons and make an immediate and unconditional commitment to the peace process. They should know that they will not go unpunished for the violence they perpetrate. I recall that the Security Council has tools to impose sanctions on those who seek to undermine the stability of the Central African Republic and are responsible for inciting violence and attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers or MINUSCA. In that regard, I would also like to underscore the urgency of implementing the far-reaching African Initiative road map in order to reach a comprehensive political agreement.
Following the two field missions to meet with the armed groups, it is now vital to move towards direct discussions with the Central African Government and the armed groups within a framework of an inclusive dialogue with other segments of Central African society, in particular women, whose participation in the peace process is crucial. To that end, we call upon the African Union and all States of the region to continue providing support at the highest level so as to ensure that the next steps to implement the road map will be successful.
All efforts to bring about peace and stability in the Central African Republic also depend on the restoration of State authority in all administrative, security or judicial areas. It is therefore more vital than ever to continue to provide support to rebuild the Central African defence and security forces. We call on our Security Council partners to support the option for MINUSCA to assist the Central African forces trained by the European Union Military Training Mission in the Central African Republic (EUTM-RCA) in their gradual and managed redeployment. That is an essential point to restore the authority of the State, on which all else hinges. Last November, in resolution 2387 (2017), the Council requested the Secretary-General to prepare recommendations on the subject, and they were provided on 15 May. It is now up to us to study those recommendations in detail to then implement them. I take this opportunity to commend the excellent work carried out by EUTM-RCA.I would like to conclude my statement by reaffirming France’s full support for MINUSCA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Мr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, for their exemplary efforts. МINUSCA operates in a difficult environment but plays an indispensable role, whether in protecting civilians, supporting the peace and reconciliation process, facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid or supporting the Central African Republic’s recovery. Unfortunately, the Blue Helmets pay a heavy price for their commitment; five have been killed since the beginning of the year. I would like to once again pay tribute to them and to all troop- and police-contributing countries.
In that context, while new contingents have arrived in the Central African Republic, and others will soon follow, to strengthen MINUSCA, France stresses the importance of using those additional reinforcements, as authorized by resolution 2387 (2017), to give MINUSCA greater mobility and manoeuvring capabilities, particularly in the protection of civilians. In that sense, with regard to the protection of civilians, France welcomes the efforts undertaken by MINUSCA to improve its performance and continue the work already under way with troop-contributing countries to prevent cases of sexual exploitation and abuse and ensure that they do not go unpunished. Those efforts must continue.
Lastly, France remains very attentive to the issue of children in armed conflict in the Central African Republic, and welcomes the progress achieved by MINUSCA, especially with the signing of an action plan by 1 of the 14 armed groups to put an end to grave violations against children, including their recruitment and sexual violence, and the release of several thousand child soldiers since 2014.I would like to conclude my statement by reiterating the importance for the Council and the international community to remain mobilized and united with a view to achieving lasting peace in the Central African Republic. Maintaining our mobilization and unity is a precondition to a lasting solution to the crisis, which is within our collective reach.