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CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC CAN RELY ON UN TO HELP CONSOLIDATE PEACE, BAN PLEDGES

Source: unic.org

The United Nations will continue to help the Central African Republic (CAR) to consolidate peace after years of ethnic conflict and political unrest by enhancing political dialogue and the reintegration of former fighters into national society.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made the pledge today in a meeting with CAR President François Bozizé on the margins of the General Assembly's annual session, a day after a high-level event at UN Headquarters in New York held to provide critical support to prevent a resumption of conflict in the once violence-torn country.

He welcomed progress already made in the peacebuilding process, in particular the adoption of a consensual timetable for delayed elections. He also noted the progress in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process in the northwest. The two men also discussed security arrangements in the northeast and reintegration plans.

For the past two years CAR, which has seen significant ethnic conflict in its north as well as an overflow of violence from neighbouring Chad and Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, has been on the agenda of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, an intergovernmental advisory body of UN entities and Member States, international financial institutions and others set up in 2006 to coordinate the world community's aid in post-conflict countries.

Yesterday's meeting was part of an effort to ramp up international support for consolidating peace in the impoverished nation, with Mr. Ban's Special Representative for CAR Sahle-Work Zewde warning that the country was at an important juncture, with delayed elections now scheduled for next year.