UN: Central African Republic's FM wants UN mission strengthened

New York, US (PANA) - Warning that Central African Republic (CAR) is currently seeing
an upsurge in deadly violence in and around its capital, Bangui, Foreign Minster Samuel
Rangba on Thursday called on the UN to step up its support for the war-weary country,
including by strengthening the UN peacekeeping mission there and lifting sanctions
impacting training of military forces.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly’s annual debate in New York, Mr. Rangba thanked
the UN for its important support to the transition process and invaluable efforts to end
violence and ease tensions in the country over the past months.

But, he acknowledged that the recent violence that swept Bangui just days ago and has left dozens dead and injured and had forced CAR Head of State Catherine Samba Panza to return home from New York, where she was attending the UN GeneralAssembly

Drawing the Assembly’s attention to the "new drama" affecting his country, the minister said CAR was beset by "blind and savage violence" perpetrated by irregular armed groups.

Over the past year, he said, Ms. Samba Panza had negotiated with a broad spectrum of parties, and, with the assistance of the international community, a road-map had been drawn up that focused on, among others, economic advancement and institution-building with a view to eventual elections.

He said that the transition had yielded solid progress over the past 18 months that had culminated in the landmark Bangui Forum on national reconciliation, which included the participation of political parties and other groups.

Mr. Rangba said that despite the current situation, CAR’s transition process is
irreversible. "The people of the country are determined to go to the ballot box," he stated.

The Foreign minister said that more than one million people were registered to vote, showing the desire to solidify constitutional order in the country.

"Yet, the situation has once again become alarming, and there is a horrendous spike in internally displaced persons in and around Bangui, even though those numbers had dropped in recent months.

"While the international community had provided essential support in order to help CAR return to normality, the current violence proves that peace and reconciliation are still tenuous and require strong support so the country will not once again fall into extended violence.

"We ask the international community and particularly the United Nations to make it possible for there to be a stronger presence and stronger action to help staunch destruction and widespread criminal activity,"said Mr. Rangba.

He urged the General Assembly to "remember the thousands of children, women and older persons who are being hatefully killed, raped and humiliated, or forced from their homes just because a handful of individuals decided to put into effect their nefarious plans to destabilize the entire country in an attempt to quench their thirst for power."

The minister warned that "CAR is susceptible to a raft of challenges and every effort must be made to ensure that government institutions could exercise control over the entire country, especially in the north, which could be a breeding ground for terrorism."
-0-  PANA  AA/AR 1Oct2015

01 october 2015 16:55:38

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