What's In Blue

Posted Tue 14 May 2013

Briefing and Consultations on the Central African Republic

Tomorrow morning (15 May), the Security Council will be briefed by the Secretary- General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) Margaret Vogt on the latest BINUCA report. The Prime Minister of the transitional government in the Central African Republic (CAR), Nicolas Tiangaye, will attend the briefing, which will be followed by consultations. Currently no outcome has been suggested but a press statement remains a possibility.

The latest BINUCA report (S/2013/261), circulated on 3 May, updated the Council on the current situation in the CAR. (In resolution 2088, adopted 24 January, the Council asked the Secretary-General to provide a report on the situation on the ground and to assess how BINUCA can further implement its priorities in light of recent events.) The report, which had been postponed for more than a month to take into account recent developments, however, did not contain recommendations for BINUCA’s mandate. As a result it seems that an adoption scheduled to amend BINUCA’s mandate for later this month was cancelled.

The report also informed the Council that due to the security situation, only critical BINUCA staff has remained in the country and most BINUCA activities have been suspended. It called for the Council to consider sanctions against perpetrators of gross human rights violations and informed the Council of preliminary discussions with authorities in the CAR about establishing a UN peacekeeping mission, while suggesting that much planning is needed before that can happen. It also urged the Council to provide support to the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Mission for the Consolidation of Peace in the CAR (MICOPAX) or other potential regional efforts.

Council members will be interested in hearing from Vogt about recent developments on the ground and the role that BINUCA can play currently in the CAR, given the lack of such information in the latest report. While it is possible that the issue of a UN peacekeeping mission will be brought up during the meetings, at this point Council members are not considering that as a viable option and are much more inclined to limit themselves to supporting regional efforts.

Council members are also interested in possible clarifications of the AU posits and sanctioned 7 Séléka leaders, but the recent statements suggest that the AU is willing to support the ECCAS transitional framework to be implemented by the Séléka.

Council members were last briefed on the CAR on 29 April by the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, who had just visited the region. Feltman said the humanitarian and security situation in the CAR was dire and that Bangui and the rest of the country were in total chaos as the Séléka rebels are fragmented and have been unable to restore order and security.

Following this briefing, on the initiative of France, the lead country on the CAR, Council members issued a press statement calling on all parties to restore peace and security and expressed concern over reports of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. Council members also expressed their support for the efforts of the ECCAS sponsored transitional process and called on Tiangaye to fully exert his executive powers in accordance with the Libreville Agreements of 11 January 2013.

The first meeting of the International Contact Group (ICG-CAR) established by ECCAS was held on 3 May in Brazzaville with the attendance of Presidents Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Congo and AU officials. The ICG-CAR released a press statement and a document titled the “Appeal of Brazzaville” in which it expressed concern over the situation in the CAR and its support for the implementation of the transitional process within the framework of the Libreville Agreements and the ECCAS transitional process.

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