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Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic

21.02.2019 - Speech

(check against delivery)

Thank you, Madame President.

I wish to begin on an individual level and thank all of the briefers this morning but, above all, I would like to thank Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga for his work. I wish his successor the best of luck. I would like to begin by recalling the words Sergey said in his briefing. He said that the peace agreement on the 6th of February is a success for multilateralism. I wish to stress what he said: these are examples of the close cooperation between himself and Jean-Pierre Lacroix, and the cooperation between the UN and the AU. I believe that these are extremely important and an example for further work throughout the African continent. I would also like to salute the cooperation among the EU, the AU and the UN. I believe the work the EU is doing to train the Central-African security forces is very important. Also cooperation among countries in the region has been of great importance. This is a true success story for multilateralism indeed.

My second point is that Mr. Sergey mentioned - and I quote him once again - that this agreement is a simple step - one of many. We now move from the signing to the implementation. It must be comprehensive and sincere. As the other colleagues have pointed out, it is important for weapons to be laid down, for DDRR to take place. I think it is also very important for cooperation between forces and different armed groups to take place and for there to be joint patrols. In this context, I wish to return to what other colleagues have already said: we have to stop the recruitment of children and, furthermore, it is very important to have a robust monitoring process.

To return what Mr. Sergey said in his statement: the process must be inclusive. All partners must be included in the monitoring, including women. In this context, I would like to congratulate the CAR for their woman Minister of Foreign Affairs. Women and civil society must be included in the process. In his report, my colleague Omar Hilale described an insatiable appetite for peace and justice in the population. I think it is very important to take this into account. I give full support to his recommendations, amongst which I would like to point to one out: communication about the agreement. Apparently, there are a lot of rumors circulating in the Central African Republic, hence, the importance of communicating the substance of the agreement to all communities.

In terms of priorities for the implementation of the agreement: what I find of prime importance is a fight against impunity. I believe there must be justice in order for this country to truly reconcile. In order for justice to be done, the establishment of the Special Criminal Court is of greatest importance and I believe that MINSUCA is supporting the work of the SCC with its investigators.

Turning to MINUSCA, I would like to commend all of the blue helmets and peacekeepers for having enduring so much under very difficult circumstances. The SG mentioned attacks on the Batangafo and the Alindao where there were many civilian deaths. In this context, I would like to stress the importance of blue helmets, in accordance with their mandate, to truly protect civilians, to protect children, to push back against sexual violence during the Central-African conflict.

Unfortunately, this has not been the only symptom. There have been too many women who have fallen victim to conflict-related violence. I would like to thank France for their support to MINUSCA. I do not want to get into the arguments brought forth by our Russian colleague but I would have liked to hear more about the activities of Russian mercenaries in the Central African Republic. Thank you very much.

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