NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 6 – Following up the political accord agreed in Rome last summer, a DDRR pilot project was put in place by the Community of Sant’Egidio in collaboration with the Central African Republic government and MINUSCA. “By the end of the year, we are aiming to demobilize 600 men from armed groups and reintegrate them into the Republican Armed Forces and other civilian programs”, the international relations responsible of the Italian Ngo Mauro Garofalo said today during a UN Security Council briefing chaired by Italian rotating president Sebastiano Cardi.
“Direct political dialogue and listening on the ground are effective”, Garofalo said, adding that Sant’Egidio is also engaged in the CAR through health programs, and I believe that “the success of this beginning of disarmament is the credibility of the whole process“.
The meeting was focused on the future of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the proposals the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to strengthen the peacekeeping force, founded in 2014 after the explosion of a deadly civil war. The Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, and the Special Envoy of the African Union, Mr. Izoum Moussa Neiie , attended the briefing while the Undersecretary for Peacekeeping, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, joined in consultations.
Briefing the Council, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga, said the proposal to increase the strength of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSCA) by 900 troops is part of “a comprehensive strategy to address the deteriorating situation,” while working closely with the Government and creating space for the political process.
“We will seek to improve the protection of civilians with a stronger emphasis on early warning and prevention, and we will put greater efforts to ensure humanitarian access to populations in need,” said Mr. Onanga-Anyanga. The recommendation to increase the troop strength is listed in the latest Secretary-General’s report, and would include 300 troops to reinforce the military in the east and the centre of the country, and an additional 600 troops as part of the Force Commander’s reserve in those regions.
Cardi, speaking to the press after closed doors consultations, agreed that the situation in the country is “very fragile, from the political, military and humanitarian point of view”. MINUSCA’s mandate expires on November 15 and the Italian ambassador expressed his hope that a consensus could by found before that deadline with the goal, not just to increase the number of troops, but also to provide MINUSCA with adequate resources so that the force will be able to effectively carry on its mandate.
Today’s briefing was the second in a few months that Sant’Egidio gave to the Council on the situation in the CAR. The Italian Ngo briefed the Council last June, a few day’s before the announcement in Rome of the political framework agreement. To read Mr. Garofalo speech in full, please click here. (@OnuItalia)