The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 567th meeting, held on 14 January 2016, was briefed by the Commission on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and listened to the statements made by the representatives of Gabon, United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), and those of the permanent members of the UN Security Council namely, the United States of America (USA), France and the United Kingdom.

         Council recalled its previous decisions on the situation in the CAR, particularly the press statement of its 506th meeting, held on 13 May 2015. In this context, Council welcomed the positive and encouraging developments in the situation in the CAR.

          Council commended the continuous efforts made by the authorities of the Transition, with the support of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the French Sangaris Operation, which made it possible to create the necessary security conditions for the holding of the constitutional referendum and the first round of legislative and presidential elections. Council further welcomed the visit of Pope Francis to the country and the attention thus paid to the situation in the CAR. Council also welcomed the successful mobilization of the Central African population to take part in the constitutional referendum, with a turnout estimated at 71%, despite the logistical and security constraints. Council noted that the constitutional referendum was a real test for both Central African actors, as well as for the other partners, the countries of the region and the AU, considering the challenges that the CAR is facing.

          Council noted with appreciation the smooth organization of the first round of the concurrent legislative and presidential elections, on 30 December 2015. However, Council requested the National Electoral Agency (ANE), the Strategic Committee on Elections and all the partners involved in the organization of the elections, to take the necessary measures to address the shortcomings noted during the early phases of the electoral process.

           Council reiterated its gratitude to the bilateral and multilateral partners of the CAR, particularly the UN, the EU, the USA and France, and reiterated its gratitude to the Heads of State of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) for their multifaceted support that made it possible to establish the necessary conditions and facilitate the actual organization of the first phases of the electoral cycle. Council encouraged them to maintain their assistance to ensure the success of the second round of the legislative and presidential elections and to complete the process of restoring constitutional order and stability in the CAR.

         Council recalled the primary responsibility of the Central African political and social actors in the restoration of peace and stability in their country. Accordingly, Council urged them, taking into account the new challenges related to the second round, to continue to comply with the Code of Conduct, signed by the candidates in the presidential election, to preserve the good relations between the communities and consolidate the established calm situation in order to facilitate the organization of the second round of elections.

        Council expressed its deep concern about the outbreak of acts of violence, like those of 26 September and 26 October 2015, which resulted in loss of human lives, injuries to people and large flows of internally displaced persons and destruction of property. Council strongly condemned those acts of violence, particularly those which affected the civilians.

          Council expressed once again its indignation at the allegations of acts of violence and sexual assault committed by the personnel of the MINUSCA against women and children. Council reaffirmed the strong condemnation by the AU of acts of sexual violence by the peacekeepers whose mandate is first and foremost to guarantee the physical integrity of civilians, especially that of women and children. Council requested the UN and the Troop Contributing Countries to carry out the necessary investigations to identify and to try, before the appropriate courts, the perpetrators of those unacceptable acts.

         Council commended the work accomplished by the Special Representative and Head of the AU Mission for the CAR and the Central Africa Region (MISAC), General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, at the helm of the Coordination Group for the preparation and follow-up of the meetings of the International Contact Group on the CAR (G8-CAR), in Bangui, in the coordination of the efforts of the international community for an effective and lasting solution to the Central African crisis. Council welcomed the contribution of US $300,000 made by the AU Commission for the organization of the elections and welcomed the deployment of an AU Election Observation Mission in the CAR and the convening of the Workshop on Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) in Addis Ababa, from 25 to 26 November 2015, for some twenty CAR actors and officials.

         Council stressed the need to find adapted and coordinated solutions to the general humanitarian situation, and particularly the issue of refugees and internally displaced persons and the painful consequences of faith-based and community crises faced by the CAR. Council stressed the urgent need for the Defence and Security Sector Reform for the establishment of professional and republican national forces, representative of the Central African nation. Council stressed that these issues, including those relating to the fight against impunity and the re-establishment of the authority of the State throughout the Central African territory, should be the priorities of the government that will emerge from the next elections, in the spirit of the Republican Pact, adopted by the Bangui National Forum.

       Council appealed to the bilateral and multilateral partners and regional organizations, particularly ECCAS, CEMAC and the ICGLR, to continue and increase their support to the CAR. In this regard, Council requested the Commission, in relation with the institutions and relevant partners concerned, to develop a strategy for post-conflict recovery and reconstruction in order to set the CAR on the path to sustainable development.

Peace and Security council
Central African Republic