June 2009 Monthly Forecast

Posted 29 May 2009
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AFRICA

Central African Republic

Expected Council Action
In June the Council is expected to consider the next report of the Secretary-General on the Central African Republic (CAR). The mandate of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (BONUCA) expires on 31 December.

Key Recent Developments
On 7 April the Council adopted a presidential statement welcoming the Secretary-General’s recommendation on 3 March to establish a UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) to succeed BONUCA.

BINUCA’s mandate and structure include the following:

  • assisting national and local efforts to implement outcomes of the inclusive political dialogue agreed to in December, focusing on governance reforms and electoral processes;
  • supporting the completion of the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programme (DDR) process and reform of security sector institutions;
  • helping to restore state authority in the provinces;
  • enhancing national human rights capacity, and promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law, justice and accountability;
  • assisting the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) with the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding and projects supported through the Peacebuilding Fund;
  • supporting the UN Mission in CAR and Chad (MINURCAT); and
  • ensuring that child protection is properly addressed in the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the DDR process, including by supporting the monitoring mechanism on children and armed conflict.

Developments in the PBC
On 6 May the CAR country configuration of the PBC formally adopted a Strategic Framework for CAR. Three mutually reinforcing peacebuilding priorities were identified by the framework:

  • security sector reform (including DDR);
  • governance and the rule of law; and
  • organising the national economy around local growth engines (i.e. the strategy of establishing “development poles” throughout the country).

(The adoption of the framework would also provide a response to the 30 May 2008 request from the Council to the PBC for advice and recommendations on the situation in CAR.)

The chair of the CAR country configuration, Ambassador Jan Grauls of Belgium, visited the country on 21 and 22 May to interact with the government and other key national players on the newly adopted peacebuilding framework.

Key Issues
The key issue for the Council is consolidation of peace and security in the country in light of the formidable political and socioeconomic challenges confronting CAR. 

A closely related issue for the Council is being satisfied that the structure and strength of BINUCA are adding value and reaching an understanding on a possible timeframe for completing the transformation of BONUCA.

Options
The main options for the Council are either:

  • responding immediately to the Secretary-General’s report (and possibly issue a statement); or
  • waiting, in the absence of any significant developments on the ground, until after the Secretary-General’s December report.

Council Dynamics
There is currently general consensus on CAR and the need to support peacebuilding. The contents of the Secretary-General’s report, especially aspects dealing with the structure and strength of BINUCA will likely influence the Council’s next steps, as will significant developments on the ground.

France is the lead country on this issue in the Council.

Underlying Problems
Perennial challenges to peace and security in CAR include high levels of poverty and unemployment, lack of accountability and professionalism in the state security sector, rebel activity and banditry (especially in the northern parts of the country), lawlessness and a proliferation of small arms and the absence of state authority in large parts of the country.

UN Documents

Latest Presidential Statement

  • S/PRST/2009/5 (7 April 2009) welcomed the recommendation of the Secretary-General to set up BINUCA to succeed BONUCA.

Latest Secretary-General’s Report

  • S/2008/733 (26 November 2008) was the latest report of the Secretary-General on CAR and BONUCA.

Selected Letters

  • S/2009/128 (3 March 2009) was the letter from the Secretary-General recommending the establishment of an integrated UN presence in CAR.
  • S/2008/809 (23 December 2008) was the letter from the president of the Council welcoming the Secretary-General’s recommendation to extend the mandate of BONUCA for an additional year and requesting for recommendations on the setting up of an integrated UN office in CAR.
  • S/2008/383 (30 May 2008) was the letter from the president of the Council to the chair of the PBC supporting the request by CAR to be placed on the agenda of the PBC and requesting advice and recommendations on the situation in the country.

PBC Related Documents

  • PBC/3/CAF/4 (20 January 2009) was the statement by the chair of the PBC country configuration for CAR, welcoming the outcome of the inclusive political dialogue.
  • PBC/3/CAF/3 (11 December 2008) was the report of the PBC mission to CAR from 30 October to 6 November 2008.
  • PBC/3/OC/5 (30 June 2008) was the letter from the acting chair of the PBC to the president of the Security Council informing him of the composition of the country configuration for CAR.
  • S/2008/419 (17 June 2008) was the letter from the chair of the PBC to the president of the Security Council informing him of the addition of CAR on the agenda of the PBC.

Council Meeting Records

  • S/PV.6091 (10 March 2009) and S/PV.6027 (2 December 2008) were the briefings by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of BONUCA and the chair of the CAR country configuration of the PBC.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Sahle-Work Zewde (Ethiopia)

BONUCA: Size

Strength as of 31 March 2009: 34 international civilian staff, five military and six police, 59 local civilian, and four UN volunteers

BONUCA: Duration

15 February 2000 to present; mandate expires 31 December 2009

MINURCAT: Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Victor da Silva Ângelo (Portugal)

MINURCAT: Size, Composition and Cost

  • Authorised strength as of 14 January 2009: 300 police, 25 military liaison officers, 5,200 military personnel and an appropriate number of civilian personnel
  • Strength as of 31 March 2009: 2,303 total uniformed personnel, including 2,016 troops, 46 military observers, and 241 police officers, as well as 364 international civilian personnel, 203 local civilian staff, and 102 UN volunteers.
  • Main police contributors: Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Benin and France
  • Main military contributors: France and Ireland
  • Cost: approved budget 1 July 2008–30 June 2009: $315 million

MINURCAT: Duration

September 2007 to present; mandate expires on 15 March 2010

Full forecast