UN: UN chief appeals to voters in CAR for peaceful polls

New York, US (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took to the radio waves of the
Central African Republic (CAR) to appeal to voters for a massive turn-out in Wednesday's
presidential poll, a major step in efforts to stabilize the country amid conflict between
Muslims and Christians.

A UN statement obtained by PANA in New York on Tuesday, quoted Ban as saying:
"The upcoming elections are a historical moment for your country."

The statement said that the UN chief spoke in French about the first round of presidential
and legislative elections.

He said: "Never before have so many Central Africans registered to vote. I call on every
one of you to use your right to vote without letting others prevent you from expressing
yourselves peacefully. The United Nations will stand by you during this critical time."

He noted that the UN has played a major role in seeking to restore peace after fighting
between the mainly Muslim Seleka and mainly Christian anti-Balaka groups, which
erupted in early 2013, in which thousands of people have been killed and hundreds of
thousands more forced from their homes.

Ban, however, recalled that after nine months of improved stability earlier this year a
new wave of inter-communal violence erupted in September, killing at least 130 people,
injuring 430 others, and triggering an 18 per cent increase in internally displaced
persons to 447,500.

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA), set up
in April 2014 to help restore stability after a breakdown of governmental authority, has reported that the situation in Bangui remained calm as the campaign period came to
an end on Monday.

Meanwhile, the National Electoral Authority issued a directive on Monday on the
modalities and conditions for voting to address concerns over allegations of voter
card trafficking and fake voter registration receipts.

Also, MINUSCA said it was supporting the electoral process by delivering sensitive
electoral material to polling centres and has deployed additional troops to Ndele,
Birao and Sibut.

Furthermore, the mission in partnership with the National Electoral Authority
facilitated on Tuesday at a meeting of the 30 presidential candidates to discuss
security planning for Election Day, transmission of results and voting and counting
procedures.

The mission has also facilitated a meeting with key stakeholders from the
predominantly Muslim PK5 neighbourhood and the anti-Balaka stronghold in
Boeing on the outskirts of Bangui.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  29Dec2015

29 december 2015 18:40:52




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