NEW YORK, 27 JANUARY – A new separate criterion to deter gender violence in the Central African Republic has been introduced in the resolutions extending and strengthening sanctions for the African country. Italy, France and Sweden proposed new language in the document adopted unanimously by the Council on Friday targeting whoever is involved in “planning, directing or committing acts involving sexual and gender-vacancy in the CAR”. The resolution encouraged as well member states to require that airlines provide advance passenger information to national authorities to make sure the travel ban is enforced. It also freezes assets on blacklisted individuals for another year.
It’s the first time that gender-based violence is included as a criterion for sanctions. The provision was introduced following an appeal by the UN Secretary General Special Representative on gender violence in armed conflicts, Zainab Hawa Bangura, who briefed the Council on 5 August 2016 stressing the need that sexual violence should be specified as a violation. The goal is to strengthen the protection on women and girls: a priority of the Italian mandate in the UN Security Council.
The resolution extends the sanctions regime imposed on the Central African Republic (CAR) until 31 January 2018 and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the CAR Sanctions Committee until 28 February 2018. The security situation in the CAR has continued to be precarious. The government of President Faustin Archange Touadera has limited control outside the capital, Bangui, and efforts to convince various armed groups to disarm have not gained traction, with factions of the Muslim-dominated ex-Séléka and Christian anti-Balaka rebel groups declining to give up their hold on large areas. Violence among ex-Séléka factions and between anti-Balaka, ex-Séléka and other rebel groups has become widespread and more frequent throughout the country, since September 2016. The presence of MINUSCA has not been able to eliminate the threat of armed groups in huge swathes of the country. (@OnuItalia)