Statement on the situation in the Central African Republic

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Saša Jurečko at the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the Central African Republic

Thank you Madam President,

I would like to start by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central African Republic Valentine Rugwabiza for her informative briefing today.

Furthermore, please allow me to express Slovenia’s full support and appreciation to MINUSCA and troop- and police-contributing countries for their invaluable contribution towards peace in the Central African Republic. I would also like to express our sincere condolences to the family of the peacekeeper from Cameroon who was killed in the recent attack and we wish a speedy recovery to the peacekeepers who are injured in this tragic event.

Madam President, in my remarks today I would like to touch on three points.

First, Slovenia welcomes the revitalisation of the peace process, however, we remain concerned by the persistently volatile security situation and the high number of civilian casualties, including an alarming increase in the number of reported grave violations against children. We call on all remaining armed groups to return to the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation and the Luanda Road Map. We furthermore encourage the Central African Republic to continue with its outreach towards all armed groups with the goal of their disarmament, demobilization, repatriation and reintegration.

For the peace process to succeed, it must be accompanied by an inclusive and genuine political dialogue with all political actors and all segments of society within the Central African Republic, including the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and youth at all levels of this dialogue. Furthermore, ending impunity and ensuring respect for human rights are integral parts of building trust and durable peace. In this respect, we note the work of the Special Criminal Court as well as other judiciary processes, also with the support from MINUSCA.  

Inclusive and sustainable economic development and much needed investments are only possible in the climate of long term and sustainable peace and security. Gender equality and women’s socio-economic empowerment must be central to these efforts.

Second, Slovenia welcomes the commitment of the government of the Central African Republic to organize elections this year. Free and fair elections can significantly contribute to reducing intercommunal tensions and enhancing stability. In this regard, we urge the Central African Republic to ensure credibility of the electoral process, including by preventing the spread of misinformation as well as full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women in electoral, decision-making and other political processes. International community can play an important role in assisting the Central African Republic in holding elections as planned. We also encourage the government to ensure that elected local authorities have sufficient tools and financial means to be able to execute their mandates and improve the lives of their constituents. 

Finally, we call on the Central African Republic to honor the commitments outlined in the Status of Forces Agreement and immediately lift any restrictions that limit the prompt and effective use of unmanned aerial vehicles by MINUSCA at any time of day. MINUSCA must enjoy full and unrestricted freedom of movement with unhindered and immediate access throughout the territory of the Central African Republic, including by air and at night. The unrestricted use of UAVs is not only a matter of operational efficiency but also significantly impacts the safety and security of the peacekeepers on the ground.

Madam President, we commend the progress in certain aspects of the peace process and despite ongoing challenges, we remain optimistic that the cycle of violence can be broken and that the Central African Republic can progress towards a more peaceful and prosperous future. We stand ready to support the Central African Republic on this path.

I thank you.

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