The Central African Republic still faces significant challenges [fr]
STATEMENT BY MR. NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL
New York, 19 October 2020
I thank Special Representative Mr. Ndiaye, Mr. Chergui and Mr. Vervaeke for their briefings.
The Central African Republic still faces significant challenges.
The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, with food insecurity but also the coronavirus disease pandemic, measles and malaria in particular. Violations of human rights and children’s rights persist at alarming levels. Sexual and gender-based violence and violence against civilians, the security and defence forces and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) are unacceptable. France strongly condemns such violations and calls for the perpetrators to be prosecuted and tried.
We will not stop reiterating that respect for international humanitarian law is binding on all parties. Attacks on humanitarian and medical personnel must cease and humanitarian access must be guaranteed.
France once again stresses the need to ensure an inclusive, transparent and peaceful electoral process, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
The international partners clearly recalled such expectations at the meeting on 1 October, co-chaired by the Central African Republic, the African Union and the Economic Community of Central African States, in which the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, participated together with the Secretary-General.
Despite the reform of the electoral code, which has shortened certain statutory timelines, preparations for the elections have been delayed, which is likely to undermine the standard of the entire process and its credibility and create tensions. Given that situation, dialogue among the various stakeholders is essential so as not to further fuel tensions in the country.
The smooth conduct of the electoral process is currently the most urgent matter, but that must not cause us to lose sight of the long-term issues at stake, in particular the implementation of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic.
Violations of the agreement are jeopardizing national reconciliation. The Security Council has demonstrated its resolve by sanctioning the leader of one of the armed groups that did not respect its commitments. We encourage all parties to redouble their efforts, in particular with regard to the deployment of joint security units, which will have an important role to play in protecting all Central Africans. Finally, support for the redeployment and professionalization of the Armed Forces of the Central African Republic and the formation of a garrison army must remain a fundamental objective of the international community’s support for the Central African authorities.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the United Nations, in particular the Special Representative of the Secretary-General; the African Union; and the Economic Community of Central African States, for their support for the Central African Republic. Their joint visit, which is planned for the end of the month, will be an important step in demonstrating that the mobilization in support of the Central African Republic remains strong at a pivotal moment in spite of the pandemic.
It is in that same spirit that France will submit a draft resolution to renew the mandate of MINUSCA, which expires on 15 November.