16 March 2017 -CAR - MINUSCA: a robust and comprehensive mandate [fr]
Situation in Central African Republic - Intervention of Mr. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - 16 March 2017
"We are fortunate to support a dynamic that could be virtuous and restore sustainable stability in the country." François Delattre
I thank the United Kingdom presidency for convening this important public meeting. In addition to Under-Secretary-General Hervé Ladsous and the Permanent Representative of Morocco, Mr. Omar Hilale, I especially thank His Excellency President Faustin Archange Touadéra for travelling to New York and for the important briefing he has just provided to the Council.
President Touadéra is well aware of the degree to which the Council has mobilized to promote his efforts to make the establishment of peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic an exemplary success. He can count on our unwavering support. We also commend the commitment of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central African Republic and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, who is on the ground beside President Touadéra every day in the Central African Republic.
The Central African Republic is not yet fully stabilized, as fighting persists among armed groups. It has been said and bears repeating that the perpetrators are motivated by a criminal logic of predation, control of territory and resources, and the perpetuation of violence unconnected to any political claims. France soundly condemns these criminal opportunists who thrive on civilian suffering and instability. In that context, I wish to highlight three main messages.
First and foremost, I wish to convey to President Touadéra, himself a message of support for him and for his work. As we all know, he was democratically elected under excellent conditions by a broad majority of Central African citizens throughout the entire national territory. He immediately positioned himself as the President of all Central Africans under a reconciliation and reform programme. His inaugural speech was welcomed as a model of its kind and his travels in the provinces, such as to Bambari and Ouaka on Sunday, testify to his commitment.
Everyone knows that President Touadéra has spared no effort in translating his message of peace, justice, reconciliation and reform into action. I could cite multiple examples, but I will highlight only two very illustrative ones: his establishment of the platform for dialogue and disarmament, whose work he himself supervises; and his idea of creating a mixed Central African Armed Forces (FACA) unit by integrating demobilized veterans, for which he requested support from the European Union (EU) military training mission in the Central African Republic.
He is committed to a dynamic based on sustainable reconstruction of the country, taking care to address the root causes of the crisis, particularly the impunity of perpetrators of crimes, which has long nourished cycles of violence in the Central African Republic. He is committed to the special criminal court and to restoring the national justice system. Like usm President Touadéra is convinced that the crisis plaguing his country will find its solution through regional cooperation. Based on that logic, he immediately visited with the Heads of States of the region. In all of those and other endeavours, he may rest assured of France’s unwavering support and, I believe, that of the Council as a whole for his efforts.
My second message is one of full support for the efforts of MINUSCA and its Head, Special Representative Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga. The Security Council has deployed MINUSCA to support the President of the Central African Republic, and its complex mandate reflects the great variety of measures to be taken there. A great deal has already been accomplished, despite the numerous challenges remaining.
Today, MINUSCA is a fully operational partner. It has a robust and comprehensive mandate focused on the strategic objective of reducing the presence of armed groups and the threat they represent in the Central African Republic. In that regard, I would like to send a message of support to MINUSCA, particularly in the light of its recent actions in the central region of the country. By acting decisively, including by using force to defend its mandate, MINUSCA is establishing its credibility and demonstrating to the armed groups that the only way ahead is the political path.
In terms of international support for the Central African Republic, I also wish to highlight the initial results of the EU military training mission, which completed the reform and training of a first FACA unit. A first battalion will be fully trained by May.
My third message concerns the need to work together and in coordination in the same direction. We are many in a position to help the Central African Republic recover. There is the United Nations, of course, and other international partners, including the World Bank and the African Bank; regional partners, including the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region; the EU and bilateral partners. Such attention is good news. It has positive effects, such as the financial mobilization in Brussels in November, where France announced an €85-million contribution over three years.
But that widespread mobilization — which, I reiterate, is necessary — is beneficial only when precisely coordinated in order to avoid duplication of efforts. Ultimately, the important thing is that the assistance will truly benefit stabilization and development of the Central African Republic. The coordination role is key. It is the responsibility, among others, of the Peacebuilding Commission country-specific configuration for the Central African Republic, which was convened this morning by the Moroccan leadership, and whose efforts I commend.
Moreover, the general mobilization is beneficial only if based on the same frame of reference, with full support for President Touadéra and his Government. The frame of reference is clear — it is that identified by the Central Africans themselves at the Bangui Forum on National Reconciliation; reiterated in the Republican Pact for Peace, National Reconciliation and Reconstruction in the Central African Republic and integrated in the programme of the President of the Central African Republic; and further enshrined in the relevant Security Council resolutions.
We are fortunate to support a dynamic that could be virtuous and restore sustainable stability in the country. That is why President Touadéra was elected and why the Council has demonstrated its commitment. In the coming days, we will propose a draft presidential statement to the Security Council. I reiterate our full support to President Touadéra in fulfilling his noble mandate.