Battling the spread of COVID-19 and resurgent militia attacks, the Central African Republic stands at a crossroads, experts said during a 22 June videoconference meeting* of the Security Council, urging the country to stay focused on implementing its landmark Political Agreement and holding credible elections on schedule.
Senior officials of the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union — one of the Central African Republic’s main external partners briefed the 15-member Council and reacted the contents of the Secretary-General’s latest report (document S/2020/545. On the one hand, they spotlighted progress made in expanding State authority and preparing for the country’s presidential and legislative elections in December. On the other, they strongly condemned spiking violence and targeted attacks against civilians, national troops and peacekeepers, including a 21 June ambush reportedly committed by the Retour, Réclamation et Réhabilitation (3R) armed group, which killed two soldiers and injured several others.
Council members welcomed recent progress and praised the Central African Republic Government for its swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while demanding that armed groups cease all acts of violence. Many agreed that the 2019 Political Agreement — known formally as the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation and signed by the Government and 14 distinct armed groups — remains the only viable path forward. Some delegates went further, calling for the imposition of sanctions on signatory armed groups that continue to perpetrate violence and impede the peace process, as foreseen in the Agreement’s terms.
Source: UN Security Council