A-3 JOINT STATEMENT
(Ghana, Kenya, Gabon)
by H.E. Mr. Michel Xavier BIANG,
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Gabon to the UN
June, 22 2022
Thank you Madam President,
1. I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of Kenya, Ghana and my country, the three African countries of the Security Council – A3.
2. We thank Mrs. Valentine Rugwabiza and ...... for their respective briefings on the situation in the Central African Republic and on the activities of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).
3. We welcome the participation in our debates of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic, H.E.M Sylvie BAIPO-TEMON.
4. The recent history of the Central African Republic has been punctuated by many political and security upheavals. Constantly torn apart by the violence of armed groups and by the often-conflicting tendencies of external powers, the Central African Republic has experienced a long period of serious instability. Today, the prospects for lasting peace are emerging, although some work still remains to be done to deal with the threat posed by armed groups.
5. It is therefore with particular interest that the A-3 stresses the need for this Council to continue supporting the Central African authorities democratically elected. Our efforts as Council will need to be further intensified to help the CAR find long-term solutions and consolidate political, security and humanitarian gains.
6. In this regard, we would like to make the following observations:
7. At the political level, the organization of the national dialogue last March, in accordance with the Luanda roadmap, reflects the will of the Central African government to respect the commitments made in 2019. Similarly, the perceptible enthusiasm of the population during these meetings testifies to the deep desire of Central Africans to turn the page on political instability. We, the members of the Council, therefore have a duty to support the the hopes and efforts of the people of the Central African Republic in their search for peace.
8. Therefore, the consensus of the Security Council for multidimensional support to the CAR including financial, material, economic, political support..... becomes a priority.
9. We also call for the participation of all Central African actors including political actors, civil society, men, women, youth and armed groups signatories to the Peace Agreement, to prioritize dialogue and mutual understanding, to advance the peace efforts initiated by the Government and supported by the international community.
10. The recommendations resulting from the national dialogue must be implemented by all. The genuine involvement of all parties to the conflict is the guarantee of a lasting political solution initiated by the Central Africans for the Central Africans.
11. In addition, the A-3 welcomes the adoption by the National Assembly of the law abolishing the death penalty and the use of torture, is an important signal of the CAR authorities’ respect for human rights. This it will undoubtedly give impetus to national reconciliation, in a context where the perpetrators of war crimes are now being prosecuted and tried in the CAR.
12. The A-3 is encouraged by all the measures taken by the Central African authorities for the organization of local elections in 2023 in a peaceful and inclusive political environment. The support provided by MINUSCA to this end is to be commended. The training of women and young people in electoral issues, initiated by the UN force, will indeed allow greater involvement of the latter in the first local elections in more than 30 years.
13. We would like to recall that in such a fragile security context as the CAR, supporting the efforts of the National Electoral Authority (NEA) is essential to the holding of credible elections. It is crucial therefore that the promises made by the international community, in November 2021, as part of the financing of the elections in the Central African Republic are honoured.
14. To conclude on this political aspect, the A-3 welcomes the personal involvement of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Valentine Rugwabiza, with the people of the Central African Republic. We encourage her to continue her advocacy with the African Union, the ECCAS and the ICGLR, with a view to supporting the implementation of the peace process in CAR. The important role of the regional organisations in the search for lasting stability in the country is indeed undeniable.
15. The A3 recalls that the Central African Republic has been the subject of several coups and coup attempts. These unfortunate events which have often been used by negative forces as excuses to justify violence and other abuses, have caused too much suffering to the civilian population. The security issue is therefore an essential equation that we absolutely must solve.
16. The security gains made in recent months with their attendant considerable progress on the ground must be protected, these include the reduction of violations of the security aspect of the Political Agreement and the extension of state authority in the country. It is regrettable that, attacks on civilians still persist and the criminal activities of armed groups are increasing in some areas in the country. We are deeply concerned about the frequent massacres of civilians.
17. The A3 also condemns the increasing use of anti-personnel mines and other explosive weapons against populations by armed gangs, in the west and northwest regions of the country. Deeply alarming are reports that some of these explosives are traceable to armed groups operating in neighbouring countries, as well as extremist groups in the Sahel.
18. In the face of such violence and this complex and multidimensional security crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current global economic situation, the Council must respond.
19. Our action should focus first and foremost on the sources and supply chain of these weapons to rebel groups, which freely have access to increasingly sophisticated weapons. Illegal exploitation of minerals remains one of the main sources of funding illicit acquisition of minerals. There is urgent need to ensure that stricter control mechanisms of these minerals, from source to destination are applied. The A-3 also underlines the importance of punishing all individuals and entities involved in the illicit trafficking of resources.
20. Cutting off all sources of supply for rebel groups is an absolute necessity.
21. Secondly, our action should also focus on strengthening the capacities of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) and support the democratically elected Central African authorities in their sovereign obligations to secure the population.
22. We reaffirm that MINUSCA's mandate is ad hoc and that the Mission is not intended to remain permanently in the Central African Republic. The authority of the Central African State and the rule of law must be restored throughout the country.
23. As we echo the declaration of the African Union, the ICGLR and the CAR government to lift the arms embargo imposed on the CAR, and the country's commitment to strengthen its arms and ammunition management system, we also underscore the need for international support for the government of the CAR as it takes steps to ensure the effective control and management of weapons in its possession and the overall attainment of the existing benchmarks.
24. It has also demonstrated its firm will to implement the benchmarks imposed on it.
25. Finally, creating security conditions that make it possible to sustainably reduce the presence of armed groups requires continued financial support for the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) Program. To make it better, this program must be accompanied by economic opportunities for ex-combatants with the support of development partners. In this regard, we encourage Quick Impact Projects.
26. According to the Humanitarian Response Plan, 3.1 million people are in precarious situations. We are concerned about the ever-increasing number of refugees and displaced populations in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
27. The A-3 welcomes the holding of the Regional Ministerial Conference in Yaoundé, Cameroon on 27 April 2022, in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with a view to finding concrete solutions to the problem of forced displacement linked to the Central African crisis.
28. The holding of this meeting is an expression of regional solidarity and the involvement of neighbouring countries in the resolution of the Central African crisis. We appeal to international partners and donors for urgent funding of the Humanitarian Response Plan.
29. This continuing humanitarian distress caused by the activities of armed groups is compounded by the effects of climate change, which is also fuelling insecurity in the country and the region.
30. In conclusion, Mr. President, we thank SRSG Rugwabiza and her MINUSCA team, humanitarian personnel, ICGLR and CAR partners for their unwavering efforts and support to the CAR authorities on the ground.