1. The European Union (EU) remains determined to support the transition in the Central African Republic (CAR) as it moves towards its conclusion with the holding of credible and transparent elections. The EU condemns the recent violence and attempts at destabilisation which have endeavoured to undermine the return to constitutional order and reignite communal hatred. There must be no tolerance for those parties that refuse to comply with the disarmament agreement signed on 10 May 2015, the agreement on the cessation of hostilities and violence signed in Brazzaville on 23 July 2014, or with the commitments to end the recruitment and use of children which were made by the political and military groups at the Bangui Forum and signed on 5 May 2015. In this context, it is essential to improve the protection of the civilian population and to press ahead without delay with the efforts to fight impunity. It remains vital to implement the recommendations from the Bangui Forum in order to ensure security, peace, justice and national reconciliation.
2. The EU welcomes the transitional authorities’ announcement on 9 November of an election timetable and the notices of 10 November 2015 calling the electorate to participate in the referendum and the presidential and parliamentary elections. The high level of voter registration in the CAR testifies to the people’s readiness to go to the polls. It is now important to mobilise all internal and external efforts to organise the constitutional referendum and the first round of the presidential and parliamentary elections by the end of 2015. It is particularly important for Central African refugees in neighbouring countries to be able to register to the greatest extent possible. It is also important for further efforts to be made towards the rapid publication of a definitive, credible and inclusive electoral roll in order to reinforce the CAR’s national cohesion. The efforts that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the affected countries in the region have made to enable Central African refugees to vote are to be commended.
3. The EU invites the International Mediator, the President of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the countries of the sub-region to give their full support to the new election timetable approved by all the Central African stakeholders and to endorse, as soon as possible, the technical extension of the transition period so as to adjust it to the new timetable. In line with the efforts already under way, the EU continues to assess the conditions for sending electoral experts to the forthcoming CAR elections in an acceptable security environment with the support of international forces. Furthermore, the EU, which is the largest contributor to funding for the electoral process, welcomes the contribution promises made by various States and encourages the international community to honour its commitments promptly.
4. The EU applauds the work of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the support of Operation Sangaris, which remain indispensable to ensuring a secure environment, in particular during the elections so that the entire population can participate. Outside of the elections, MINUSCA’s work to support lasting stability in the CAR and security sector reform (SSR), including moving the DDR process forward, is essential and must take place in conjunction with the international community.
5. To ensure lasting stability in the country, the transitional authorities must continue their efforts to fight impunity with the support of MINUSCA and the international community. Transitional justice, as well as the rebuilding of the criminal justice and prison system, are essential to ending human rights abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence. In this context, the EU calls on all the parties to make every effort to prevent such acts of violence and reiterates the importance of respect for international human rights law.
6. In this difficult political and security context, the Council applauds the EUMAM mission’s work to support the restructuring of the Central African armed forces. The recent introduction of non-operational training is a new step in supporting the restructuring of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA), and one which the Council welcomes. Building on this, the Council considers it necessary to provide further support to the FACA and to respond to the CAR’s needs in support of the United Nations, which is mandated by the Security Council to support security sector reform in the CAR. It is on this basis that the Council invites the High Representative to begin preparations for the presentation in early 2016 of a Crisis Management Concept outlining a process to transform EUMAM into a mission that provides strategic advice and operational training, to be launched after the inauguration of the democratically elected authorities and in good time before the end of EUMAM’s mandate. This should be done in cooperation with the United Nations and in line with the ongoing security sector reform process in the Central African Republic. However, the Council emphasises that it is important for EUMAM RCA to work intensively with MINUSCA and the Central African authorities given the acts of violence at the end of September.
7. As part of its comprehensive approach, the EU, which has so far provided EUR 238 million in support of the transitional government’s main actions, reiterates its commitment to strengthening the resilience of the Central African population through actions financed by the Bêkou Trust Fund. The EU calls on other partners to join its efforts, in particular in support of the national budget, in order to increase the public sector’s capacity to provide the population with essential services such as healthcare and education, and to ensure the durability of the State. The EU continues to engage in dialogue with the Central African authorities in order to improve public finance management.
8. The EU is continuing its humanitarian efforts to assist all those suffering the effects of the crisis, both in the CAR and in neighbouring countries. It pays tribute to the humanitarian and development organisations for the work they have done under difficult security conditions, as demonstrated by the recent events in Bangui. The EU calls on the Central African government and the international forces on the ground to continue their efforts to safeguard the staff of these organisations so they can be swiftly redeployed. It is vital to ensure that the humanitarian and development organisations in the CAR have safe and unfettered access to people in need. The EU calls on the parties to the conflict to stop and to prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed groups and to continue identifying and releasing these children and reintegrating them into civilian life. The EU reiterates the importance of complying with the obligations of International Humanitarian Law.
Version française : http://wp.me/p39iaI-uC