Security Council

The Situation in the Central African Republic…

The Situation in the Central African Republic - Security Council, 9190th Meeting
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Security Council extends mandate of Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic for one year, adopting Resolution 2659.

Stressing Country in Survival Mode, Its Minister Says Resolution Does Not Meet Requirements of Effective Peacekeeping Mission
The Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) until 15 November 2023, detailing a range of mandated tasks from the protection of civilians to management of the environmental impacts of its operations.

Adopting resolution 2659 (2022) (to be issued as document S/RES/2659(2022)) by a vote of 12 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions (China, Gabon, Russian Federation), the Council — acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations — decided to maintain MINUSCA’s current troop levels of up to 14,400 military personnel, 3,020 police personnel and 108 corrections officers.

By its terms, the Council identified the Mission’s priority tasks as protection of civilians; good offices and support to the peace process, including implementation of the ceasefire and the Political Agreement; facilitation of the immediate, full, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance; and protection of United Nations personnel, installations, equipment and goods.

It also identified a range of additional tasks, including support for the extension of State authority; promotion and protection of human rights; the Republican Dialogue and 2023 elections; security sector reform; disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation; and support for national and international justice.

The Council urged all parties to the conflict to respect the ceasefire and called on the Central African Republic’s authorities and the signatory armed groups to fully implement the Political Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in good faith and without delay.  It also called on the authorities of the Central African Republic and those of neighbouring countries to cooperate at the regional level to investigate and combat transnational criminal networks and armed groups involved in arms trafficking and in the illegal exploitation of natural resources.

The representative of France, speaking after adoption, noted that the resolution enables MINUSCA to ensure continued support for the peace process in the Central African Republic and addresses the Mission’s freedom of movement, which is essential for the safety of the blue helmets.  Recalling the attack in early October that led to the deaths of three Bangladeshi blue helmets, she said the authorities of the Central African Republic must lift the ban on night flights in the country — a call echoed by the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom and Albania.

Albania’s representative pointed out that that long-standing issue regarding the language on night flights has not found solution during bilateral engagements between MINUSCA and the Central African Republic.  The Council must send a clear message that the Mission’s safety and its ability to perform is a priority, he stressed.

The representative of the United Kingdom also expressed disappointment over the loss of language concerning the responsibility to protect, underscoring that the Government remains responsible for protecting civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

Ghana’s representative, Council President for November, speaking in his national capacity, said his delegation voted in favour of the resolution in the wider interest of peace and stability in the Central African Republic, not because it was “wholly satisfied with the final text”.  Underscoring the importance of the host country’s views, he expressed hope that they will be given due consideration in future negotiations.

Kenya’s representative, in a similar vein, also called for improvements during the next renewal, underlining that the tasks concerning extension of State authority, deployment of security forces and the preservation of territorial integrity be considered “priority tasks” instead of “other tasks”.  Highlighting the need for stronger language condemning the activities of armed groups, she pointed out that manifest geopolitical considerations and attendant polarization destroyed any hopes of consensus during negotiations.

However, Gabon’s representative voiced regret that proposals by the three African Council members, namely Gabon, Ghana and Kenya, were rejected. The resolution has not considered the efforts of the country’s armed forces to respect their State function to protect their national territory in difficult conditions and in a difficult economic context, she said.

China’s representative, in a similar vein, pointed out that the Government of the Central African Republic firmly hopes that the Mission’s assistance in expanding State authority in regained territory is listed as a priority, noting that that “legitimate demand” had not been respected in the draft resolution.  Moreover, considerations related to the security threat of armed groups and the Mission’s independent strategic review had not been included.

The representative of the Russian Federation said the draft resolution only considered one of many issues mentioned by the Central African Republic.  The document ignored the request to put cooperation with the authorities as a priority.  She also expressed puzzlement about non-inclusion of the proposal made by the Russian Federation to investigate the chain of delivery of some explosive devices which have led to the death of three peacekeepers.

Sylvie Baïpo Temon, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic, said that the adopted resolution does not meet the expectations of her country or the requirements of an effective peacekeeping mission.  “The blue helmets do not have what they need to address the armed groups” in her country, she said, emphasizing that the Central African Republic is in survival mode.

Underscoring that there are and never have been any bans on night flights, she acknowledged that there are some constraints because of the difficult circumstances in the country.  The freedom of movement of MINUSCA has not been hampered either, she said, urging the Council to work with her country to ensure that armed groups do not attack the blue helmets in their base.

The meeting began at 3:02 p.m. and ended at 3:56 p.m.