Delivered by: Maha Harqoos, First Secretary
I thank SRSG Rugwabiza for her informative briefing on the most recent developments in the Central African Republic. We also welcome the participation of Her Excellency Sylvie Valérie Baipo Temon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic, as well as the representative of the Republic of Angola at this meeting.
In light of the recent developments in the country and MINUSCA’s activities, my statement will touch on the following three elements:
First, the protection of civilians must remain front and center of all security responses.
This period witnessed the continued activities of armed groups, which inflict harm on civilians across Central African Republic, especially in the country’s eastern regions. In addition, the increased use of explosive ordnance devices continued to take a heavy toll on communities and hinder the efforts to protect civilians.
The numbers depicting the overall impact of the security situation on civilians are staggeringly worrisome: between 2021 and 2023, conflict-related sexual violence cases alone have more than doubled since the last reporting period. And the number of grave violations against children has almost tripled in the same period. Breaking this cycle of recurrent violence requires an urgent and comprehensive approach that focuses both on preventing further escalation of violence as well as addressing the root causes of the conflict.
We recognize the crucial role of MINUSCA, especially with regards to protection of civilians and working closely with the government of CAR to address security threats. We also appreciate the sacrifices of the peacekeeping forces to support peace in a challenging environment. In this regard, we look forward to engaging constructively in the upcoming negotiations of the Mission’s mandate.
Second, it is important to prioritize inclusive dialogue through the implementation of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation and the joint Roadmap for Peace.
Dialogue remains key to helping make progress toward promoting reconciliation at the local level and peaceful resolutions of inter-communal tensions. Special attention must also be paid to the damaging impact of hate speech and incitement to violence. This is particularly important as the country gets ready to hold elections next year.
We also stress the importance of continued regional support for peace efforts in the Central African Republic, including support from the African Union, ECCAS, and ICGLR. In addition, the engagement between CAR’s government and neighboring States to address security concerns related to border security jointly is an important step in maintaining the security of the Central African Republic and neighboring States.
Third, special attention must be paid to the country’s dire humanitarian situation, with more than half of the population requiring humanitarian assistance while the country faces a sharp rise in fuel and basic commodity prices, exacerbating the difficult economic conditions. This is taking place at a time when nearly half a million people are internally displaced, while also hosting refugees from neighboring countries.
In this context, I would like to emphasize the importance of ensuring that humanitarian assistance reach those in need. We thank MINUSCA for its tireless efforts to facilitate access to humanitarian deliveries, secure sites for IDPs and refugees, and help build humanitarian infrastructure. We urge all relevant parties to facilitate the lifesaving work of humanitarian organization and recall the importance of protecting humanitarian workers and UN personnel in accordance with international humanitarian law.
To this end, it is necessary to work on improving humanitarian conditions through a comprehensive approach that addresses social and economic challenges and improves the resilience of communities.
In conclusion, the UAE supports all efforts that seek to bring stability to Central African Republic and stands in solidarity with Central Africans in their quest for peace and prosperity.
Thank you, Mr. President.