NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 15 – Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, the Deputy Permanent representative of Italy at the United Nations, expressed deep concern for the tragic humanitarian crisis in a country where half of the 4,6 million inhabitants still depend on humanitarian aid.
Despite improving security situation in Bangui, concerns remain in other parts of the country, the top United Nations peacekeeping official Hervé Ladsous told the Council, underlining the need for continued international attention. Particularly worrying were clashes between the Front populaire pour la renaissance de la Centrafrique and the Union pour la paix en Centrafrique groups in the country’s central region which had assumed ethnic overtones, said Ladsous in his briefing to the 15-member Council.
He added that the two groups were outside an ongoing dialogue, established by the country’s President, Faustin Archange Touadera, with other armed groups which was making progress in such areas as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
At the end of the meeting the Council rotating president Vladimir Yelchenko spoke to the press: “The members of the Council urged the armed groups to immediately halt the fighting and join the peace and reconciliation dialogue, initiated by President Touadera and in this regard welcomed the efforts of the African Union”. Yelchenko said that the Council gives the parties some time, but not much, “definitely less than six months”.
Calling upon the Council to support the leadership of CAR to consolidate institutions and stabilize the country, Lambertini recalled that Italy recently introduced in a UNSC resolution a new criterion to impose sanctions “explicitly designed to punish individuals who commit sexual and gender violence”. He also called for an inclusive national dialogue which “should include women as an agent for peace”. (@OnuItalia)