General Assembly Security Council

UNSC briefing/consultations on MINUSCA

 

INDIA STATEMENT 

By

Ambassador Nagaraj Naidu

Deputy Permanent Representative

 

24 February 2021

 

Thank you, Madame President. I thank USG Lacroix for providing us a detailed briefing supplementing SG’s latest report on MINUSCA. I thank AU Commissioner Chergui for his insights on the situation in CAR. I also thank EU External Action Service Managing Director for Africa Rita Laranjinha for the useful information.

 
2. ​Let me begin by strongly condemning recent attacks on peacekeepers of MINUSCA in the Central African Republic as we remember the 7 peacekeepers from Morocco, Gabon, Burundi and Rwanda who sacrificed lives for the cause of peacekeeping. The authorities in CAR must investigate these crimes immediately and those responsible are held accountable. I pay tribute to MINUSCA and the outstanding work the peacekeepers are doing in the Central African Republic, at great risk to their own lives.


3.​ Central African Republic is passing through a critical phase, as it marked earlier this month, two years of signing of the Peace Agreement. The full implementation of the Peace Agreement is the only way forward to achieve national reconciliation, end political tensions and bring stability to the country. The onus on re-energizing the political agreement lies with the CAR leadership. The authorities should reach out to all signatories to the Peace Agreement and pursue dialogue. We also call on all opposition groups, armed group signatories to the Peace Agreement, to stop fighting and join the CAR authorities in finding a peaceful solution. We support the ongoing efforts of the guarantors of the peace agreement, the AU and ECCAS. It is important to emphasize here that ‘winner-takes-all’ approach will be detrimental to peace and stability.

 

4. Amidst violence and tensions in CAR, the holding of democratic elections last December was an important milestone. We commend the CAR authorities for conducting the elections, and all partners who supported this process. The constitutional court endorsed the outcome of the elections, and the electoral phase is now set to progress to the next stage. These decisions must be respected. As CAR authorities prepare for the next round of legislative elections on 14 March, it is important that all stakeholders continue to support the election process and the efforts made by the CAR government on this front.

 

5. ​We take note of the meeting of the national level implementation mechanism held on 5 February in Bangui. This was one of the essential elements of the 2019 Peace Agreement. It is encouraging those local level mechanisms, with active engagement of women leaders have also met in some areas, promoting inclusive dialogue. These steps must continue. The administration should also take immediate steps to win the trust of rural population.

 

6. The continuing violence by armed groups in many parts of the country has forced the authorities to declare a state of emergency for six months. We condemn the violence and attacks perpetrated by the armed groups, especially those against civilians - women, and children. The precarious security situation has been aggravated by deserting of CAR forces in many parts of the country. This again highlights the importance of SSR and DDRR, which are important elements of the Peace Agreement.


7.​ We are concerned about the humanitarian situation in CAR. The fighting has forced over 100,000 people to flee the country, compounding an already dire refugee crisis, with many more internally displaced and suffering from food insecurity. The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic persists amidst all this. There must not be any blockade on towns and important transport routes, and movement of essential supplies must be allowed.

 
8.​ We support the Secretary-General’s call for incremental increase of MINUSCA troop ceiling. While these reinforcements will help CAR in tackling the security situation, capacity building of CAR security forces and progress in the political process is imminent for the long term stability of the country. We hope CAR authorities will continue to take steps in the right direction. I thank you, Madam President.

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