Note to Correspondents on Central African Republic
UN Member States today expressed their support for peace and stability in the Central African Republic (CAR) during a high-level meeting on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. The purpose of the meeting was to maintain political momentum in the country beyond the transition and obtain comprehensive support for the implementation of the most critical and immediate outcomes of the Bangui Forum.
Critical upcoming tasks include disarming and demobilizing ex-combatants; promoting justice and reconciliation; and good governance and economic development, which include restoring State authority and financing the upcoming national elections.
Last weekend, violence erupted suddenly in Bangui, resulting in more than 30 deaths and over 100 wounded, and displacing thousands of additional women, men and children.
Although the situation had stabilized in recent months, the clashes were a stark reminder that CAR's stability remains precarious.
Speaking at the event, the Secretary-General said that “we cannot allow forces to undermine achievements over the past year and deny the aspirations of the vast majority of Central Africans for peace and a better life."
“We must act now to break the cycle of violence in the Central African Republic and put it back on a sustainable development path,” said United Nations Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark. “Doing so will require promoting professional military and police forces, and demobilizing ex-combatants. It will also require ensuring justice and reconciliation, and creating jobs and better infrastructure across the country.”
Under-Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous underlined: “It is therefore critical that the transition continues on track and is concluded with democratic elections by the end of the year”. USG Ladsous also reiterated that those acting against the political process and committing or instigating crimes --whether inside or outside the country-- will be held accountable for their actions.
The Government estimates that the three priorities of disarming and demobilizing ex-combatants; promoting justice and reconciliation; and good governance and economic development, will cost USD $202 million over the next 18 months. Around USD $85 million remain unfunded.