Communiqué of the 2nd Meeting of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (ICG-CAR)

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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Communiqu of the 2nd Meeting of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (ICG-CAR)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 9, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Communiqué of the 2nd Meeting of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (ICG-CAR)

1. The International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (ICG-CAR) held its Second Meeting on Monday, 8 July 2013, in Addis Ababa, under the Co-chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Basile Ikouebe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of the Congo and Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (AU).

2. The Opening Ceremony was marked by statements made by Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Mr. Basile Ibouebe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of the Congo, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration of the Republic of Chad and Mr. Taye Zerihun, Assistant-Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) for Political Affairs. The Group welcomed the quality and level of participation in the 2nd meeting. The following countries were represented at Ministerial level: Republic of the Congo, Chad, Gabon, Rwanda and CAR. The representatives of the following countries and Organisations also participated in the meeting: Algeria, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Libya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Japan, Luxembourg, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the UN, European Union (EU), International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank (WB).

3. The meeting considered the situation in the Central African Republic the light of the “Appeal of Brazzaville” of 3 May 2013 and other relevant decisions of ECCAS, the AU and other international organisations as well as on the basis of the statement made by the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity of the Transition, Mr. Nicolas Tiangaye, particularly on the political, security, socio-economic and humanitarian aspects. The meeting also took cognizance of the regional and international efforts made since the inaugural meeting of 3 May 2013, particularly those made by ECCAS in order to provide MICOPAX with 2000 troops, a mandate, a Concept of Operations and an appropriate budget and those made by the AU Commission related to the proposed establishment of an African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (AFISM-CAR).

On the Situation in the Central African Republic

4. The ICG took note of the recent political developments and the fragile nature of the security and humanitarian situation in the territory as a whole and in Bangui, coupled with logistic, material and financial constraints faced by the process of establishing a nucleus of Central African Defence and Security Forces. The security and public order continued to be perturbed by the actions of some uncontrolled elements of Seleka. Furthermore, the ICG was informed of the particularly huge and urgent needs in budget support for the payment of salaries of the civil servants and the workers of the public sector and economic assistance for the significant activity of economic recovery in the country.

5. The ICG expressed its concern about the still alarming situation of refugees and internally displaced persons, the lack of adequate response and the urgent need for the humanitarian agencies to take the necessary measures to meet the ever-increasing assistance needs of the refugees and the internally displaced persons.

6. The ICG recognised that, in spite of the difficulties faced by the authorities of the Transition, noteworthy efforts were made concerning the Roadmap proposed by the 4th Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of ECCAS and in the spirit of the “Appeal of Brazzaville”. The ICG was particularly informed about the formation of a more inclusive government, the expansion of the National Council of the Transition (CNT) to 135 members, the adoption of the promulgation of the Charter of the Transition, and the commitment of the Head of State of the Transition to provide continued support of the CAR to the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lords Resistance Army (RCI-LRA) and the readiness of the Central African government to contribute to it.

7. The ICG stressed the need for better cooperation between the institutions of the Transition so as to successfully implement the Roadmap and facilitate the support of the International Community. To this end, the ICG reiterated the need for the authorities of the transition to involve the International Community and to request additional expertise.

On Regional and International Efforts

8. The ICG welcomed the efforts made by ECCAS to prepare and adopt a mandate, a Concept of Operations and a budget for MICOPAX 2, with 2,000 troops and the approaches made to obtain financing within the region and the European Union in order to meet the needs of MICOPAX. The ICG welcomed the decision taken by the Heads of State and Government of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) to make a financial contribution of 25 billion CFA at their Extraordinary Summit, held in Libreville on 14 June 2013. The ICG welcomed the loan of 25 billion CFA Francs given by the Republic of the Congo to the CAR and which enabled it to pay two months of arrears of salary to the civil servants and the employees of the public services in the CAR.

9. The ICG welcomed the decision adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) to support, in principle, the establishment of an African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (AFISM-CAR), at its 380th Meeting, held on 17 June 2013 and encouraged the ongoing consultations with ECCAS and other troop and police contributing countries as well as with the international partners concerned, particularly the EU, the UN and the OIF, with a view to preparing a Concept of Operations and a Concept of Logistical Support. Within that framework, the ICG welcomed the actions taken by the Commission, pursuant to the decision of the 380th meeting of the PSC, particularly the convening in Addis Ababa, from 2 to 5 July 2013, of the Technical meeting to prepare a draft Concept of Operation and thus to harmonise the regional efforts. The ICG expressed satisfaction at the prospect of establishing and effectively operationalizing AFISM-CAR as soon as possible.

On the Way Forward

10. The ICG encouraged the AU Commission and ECCAS to pursue their cooperation with the support of the UN, EU, OIF and other regional and international actors in order to speed up the process of integrating MICOPAX into AFISM-CAR and facilitate the deployment of the this Mission. The ICG underscored the need to provide AFISM-CAR with a robust mandate, mobilise the necessary financial means and ensure a regional balance of troops, the structure of the peace architecture and equipment that could be deployed as well as an adequate level of multipliers and enablers of the Force commensurate with the challenges. Relevant decisions should be taken in due time to avoid interruption of financial flows to MICOPAX 2/AFISM-CAR. The ICG urged the United Nations to consider the ways and means in which it could support and facilitate the said deployment. In this regard, the ICG-CAR encouraged the PSC to authorize the AFISM-CAR and provide it with the necessary political and diplomatic support.

11. Furthermore, the ICG stressed the need to make the Trust Fund effective, as stipulated in the “Appeal of Brazzaville” of 3 May 2013 and welcomed the announcement made by the AU Commission to submit, in the near future, a Concept of Management of the said Fund as well as the bank references so as to enable the Member States of the ICG-CAR to contribute in a concrete manner to it. Consequently, the ICG encouraged all its members to contribute generously to the Fund and the bilateral and multilateral partners to implement the programs of assistance to the CAR, taking into account the urgent needs and ongoing efforts aimed at restoring order and security on the entire territory.

12. The ICG members reiterated the importance of the Transitional authorities fulfilling all the actions stipulated in the Roadmap culminating in elections within the agreed timeframe.

13. The ICG-CAR members reiterated their commitment to continue to support all the initiatives aimed at resolving, in a lasting manner, the crisis in Central African Republic and agreed to hold their 3rd Meeting in Bangui, as soon as possible, at a date to be fixed after consultation, in order to assess the progress made particularly with regard to the economic and financial assistance to be given to the CAR, the situation of refugees and the internally displaced persons, the establishment of AFISM-CAR and the different contributions to the Trust Fund.

14. The ICG-CAR members expressed their gratitude to Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, for hosting the 2nd Meeting and for having provided all the necessary facilities to ensure its success.