UN / CAR

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20-Feb-2020 00:03:49
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Head of the mission in the country (MINUSCA) stressed, “the inclusive Government that emerged from the Peace Agreement remains in place,” adding that there is “a clear reduction in violence against the civilian population.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / CAR
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SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: FRENCH / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 FEBRUARY 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

20 FEBRUARY 2020, NEW YORK CITY

2.SOUNDBITE (French) Mankeur Ndiaye, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA):
“Among the notable progress made, I wish first of all to stress that the inclusive Government that emerged from the Peace Agreement remains in place, and that the signatory parties have reaffirmed their commitment to that framework, despite many difficulties. Secondly, I would like to note a clear reduction in violence against the civilian population, the gradual and continuous extension of State authority, including the posting of all prefects in all 16 prefectures of the country and the continued deployment of the Central African Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces, including in areas where they were previously absent.”
3.Wide shot, Security Council
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mankeur Ndiaye, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA):
“Despite significant advances in the implementation of the peace agreement, several challenges remain. These include persistent violations of the Peace Agreement by some armed groups which have continued, over the past year, to occupy administrative buildings, collect illegal taxes, and expand their areas of influence. Despite improvement in the overall security situation of the country, there remain pockets of instability, mainly related to clashes between armed groups competing for territory and resources. These clashes pose serious threats to protection of civilians and have also led to rising intercommunity tensions in locations like Birao, Bria and Alindao.”
5.Wide shot, Security Council
6. SOUNDBITE (French) Mankeur Ndiaye, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA):
“At the time I am addressing the Council, mediation efforts are under way for a cessation of hostilities between the belligerents. I strongly condemn the FPRC and the MLCJ for the resumption of fighting, in flagrant violation of the Peace Agreement. I also wish to condemn the public call for violence against MINUSCA, launched by the FPRC in Ndélé, where the population has been mobilized to invade the MINUSCA camp.”
7. Wide shot, Security Council
8. SOUNDBITE (French) Olof Skoog, Permanent Representative of Sweden to the United Nations:
“There is no reason to justify such violence. The European Union urges the parties to keep their word. We also call on the Government, the guarantors and the facilitators of the Bangui Agreement to act and to seriously consider imposing sanctions against those responsible. This intolerable situation must end. The violence is also the result of a culture of impunity that has gone on far too long. The fight against impunity must continue and justice must be placed at its centre. That is an essential provision of the Agreement, which is indispensable for the support of the population.”
9.Wide shot, Security Council
10.SOUNDBITE (French) Omar Hilale, Chair of the Central African Republic Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission:
“The forthcoming elections will be a historic moment and an opportunity for the perpetuation of peace in this country. It would be a pity if they could not be held under satisfactory conditions because of a financing shortfall. This could jeopardize the efforts and sacrifices made by the United Nations and the heavy investment made by the international community so far in the CAR. I therefore appeal to all the countries and partners of the CAR to make their contribution towards completing the budget as soon as possible with short deadlines.”
11.Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Head of the mission in the country (MINUSCA) stressed, “the inclusive Government that emerged from the Peace Agreement remains in place,” adding that there is “a clear reduction in violence against the civilian population.”

Briefing the Security Council today (20 Feb) in New York on the situation in CAR, the UN senior official in the country Mankeur Ndiaye said, “among the notable progress made, I wish first of all to stress that the inclusive Government that emerged from the Peace Agreement remains in place, and that the signatory parties have reaffirmed their commitment to that framework, despite many difficulties.”

Ndiaye continued, “secondly, I would like to note a clear reduction in violence against the civilian population, the gradual and continuous extension of State authority, including the posting of all prefects in all 16 prefectures of the country and the continued deployment of the Central African Armed Forces and the Internal Security Forces, including in areas where they were previously absent.”

Noting that a peace agreement is not yet peace, but a step forward and a long process which is sometime fraught with pitfalls, the head of MINUSCA reiterated, “despite significant advances in the implementation of the peace agreement, several challenges remain. These include persistent violations of the Peace Agreement by some armed groups which have continued, over the past year, to occupy administrative buildings, collect illegal taxes, and expand their areas of influence.”

Ndiaye added, “despite improvement in the overall security situation of the country, there remain pockets of instability, mainly related to clashes between armed groups competing for territory and resources.”

He reiterated, “these clashes pose serious threats to protection of civilians and have also led to rising intercommunity tensions in locations like Birao, Bria and Alindao.”

The Special Representative also noted that the security developments in the Northeast remain sources of major concerns. The inter-ethnic clashes in Birao between Rounga members of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC) and the Central African Liberators for Justice Movement (MLCJ), mainly Kara, have further weakened the security and humanitarian situation in that part of the country.

In response to these disturbing developments, Ndiaye said that MINUSCA has had to adopt a robust posture to stem the attempted FPRC invasion of the town of Birao and take measures to protect the civilian population, in accordance with its mandate.

He explained, “at the time I am addressing the Council, mediation efforts are under way for a cessation of hostilities between the belligerents.”

Ndiaye strongly condemned “the FPRC and the MLCJ for the resumption of fighting, in flagrant violation of the Peace Agreement.” he also wished to “condemn the public call for violence against MINUSCA, launched by the FPRC in Ndélé, where the population has been mobilized to invade the MINUSCA camp.”

Speaking on behalf of the European Union (EU), Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog noted that one year after the signing of the Agreement, several armed groups are still not respecting their commitments.

He mentioned that the violence that erupted on Sunday (16 Feb) in Birao between two armed groups were unfortunately not an isolated incident. It was a planned operation, but in the end, it was the local populations who are the victims.

Skoog reiterated, “there is no reason to justify such violence. The European Union urges the parties to keep their word.”

He said, “we also call on the Government, the guarantors and the facilitators of the Bangui Agreement to act and to seriously consider imposing sanctions against those responsible. This intolerable situation must end.”

Stressing that “the violence is also the result of a culture of impunity that has gone on far too long,” the Swedish Ambassador stated, “the fight against impunity must continue and justice must be placed at its centre. That is an essential provision of the Agreement, which is indispensable for the support of the population.”

Also addressing the Council was Moroccan Ambassador Omar Hilale, who spoke as the Chair of the Central African Republic Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission.

He said, “the forthcoming elections will be a historic moment and an opportunity for the perpetuation of peace in this country.”

Hilale explained, “it would be a pity if they could not be held under satisfactory conditions because of a financing shortfall. This could jeopardize the efforts and sacrifices made by the United Nations and the heavy investment made by the international community so far in the CAR.”

The Moroccan diplomat appealed to all the countries and partners of the CAR to “make their contribution towards completing the budget as soon as possible with short deadlines.”
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