Press Statement of the 534th PSC meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, August 26, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 534th meeting held on 17 August 2015, was briefed by the Commission on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Council recalled its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in the CAR, including press statement PSC/PR/COMM.(DVI) adopted at its 506th meeting held on 13 May 2015.
Council welcomed the overall positive evolution of the situation in the CAR since the convening of the Bangui Forum for National Reconciliation, from 4 to 11 May 2015. In this regard, Council commended the transitional authorities and all the other CAR stakeholders for their commitment to respect the spirit of the Forum and to implement the recommendations that emanated therefrom.
Council, once again, stressed the need to spare no efforts to ensure the successful holding of the legislative and presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place in October 2015 and will mark the culmination of the current Transition and the completion of the process of restoration of constitutional order. Council noted with satisfaction the steps taken to this effect, including the launching of the enrollment of voters, on 26 June 2015, as well as the efforts to mobilize the financial and logistical resources required for the successful holding of the elections. Council, noting that about US$10 million are still required for the financing of the electoral process and recalling the principle of African solidarity, urged all Member States which have not yet done so to urgently make financial contributions to help offset the current deficit. Council requested the Commission to sensitize Member States on the situation.
Council welcomed the Opinion issued by the Constitutional Court on 20 July 2015, stipulating that those CAR citizens who become refugees as a result of the violence that affected the country cannot be denied the exercise of their right to vote, as enshrined in article 20 of the Transitional Constitutional Charter of 18 July 2013 and reaffirmed by the Bangui Forum, on the ground of organizational and technical difficulties. Council looks forward to the endorsement of this Opinion by the National Transitional Council (NTC), at its special session that started on 10 August 2015. Council emphasized the importance of ensuring that the forthcoming elections are inclusive, noting that this is an essential condition for the promotion of sustainable peace and reconciliation in the CAR.
Council reiterated its commitment to the strict observance of the provisions of the Transitional Constitutional Charter relating to the ineligibility of the current and past leaders of the Transition, as well as of political leaders targeted by sanctions imposed by Council and/or by the United Nations (UN) Security Council, in conformity with press statement PSC/PR/COMM.(DVI). Council stressed that the AU shall not recognize as valid elections held in violation of these provisions.
Council welcomed the Conclusions of the 8th meeting of the International Contact Group on the CAR (ICG-CAR) held in Addis Ababa on 27 July 2015, and commended the follow-up actions taken on the ground by the Coordinating Group for the Preparation and Follow-up to the meetings of the ICG-CAR (G8-RCA), chaired by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission in the CAR and Head of the AU Mission for Central Africa and the CAR (MISAC), General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko. Council encouraged MISAC to vigorously pursue the implementation of its mandate as outlined in communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CDLVIII) Rev.1 adopted at its 458th meeting held on 17 September 2014.
Council reiterated its appreciation to the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and to all the troop and police contributing countries to the UN Multidimensional Integrated
Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) for their contribution to the promotion of peace, security and reconciliation in the CAR. Council also expressed its gratitude to the CAR bilateral and multilateral partners for their continued support to the peace process in the CAR, and urged them to pursue their assistance.
Council expressed deep concern at the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse and other violations of human rights committed by elements of the international forces in the CAR. Council strongly condemned these unacceptable and vile acts, and stressed the need and urgency to investigate on this issue. Council urged all the troop and police contributing countries whose nationals are reported to be involved in the commission of such acts to expeditiously carry out the required investigations and to take, as appropriate, exemplary sanctions. Council requested the Commission, in collaboration with the UN, to sensitize the concerned Member States. More generally, Council requested the Commission to submit to it a report on the issue of sexual exploitation and abuse in the context of peacekeeping or peace support operations on the continent, and to make recommendations on the modalities for an enhanced African and international action to prevent and punish such crimes.
Council, having been informed of the resignation of the UN Special Representative in the CAR and Head of MINUSCA, Lieutenant-General Babacar Gaye of Senegal, paid tribute to him for his invaluable contribution to the promotion of peace and reconciliation in the CAR and elsewhere, as well as for his commitment. Council wished success to his successor, Mr. Perfect Onanga-Anyanga of Gabon, and looks forward to the continuation, under his leadership, of the close cooperation that exists between MINUSCA and MISAC, within the framework of the AU-UN partnership in the area of peace and security.