UN: UN expert says justice, reconciliation key to peace in CAR

New York, US (PANA) - A UN expert on the situation of human rights in Central African Republic (CAR), Ms. Marie-Therese Keita, has said the justice system in CAR must be urgently strengthened if the country is to achieve lasting peace and reconciliation.

"Truth and reconciliation are also critical," Ms. Keita said In a statement ahead of a donors’ conference in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday, aiming to raise funds in support of the country’s national peace-building plan.

"The policies set out in the National Plan for Recovery and Peace-Building represent the only way to ensure lasting peace in the conflict-wracked country, and they include plans to disarm, demobilise and reintegrate armed groups, repatriate people and reform the security sector," she said.

Success of the plan, drawn up by the CAR government in cooperation with the UN, the European Union and the World Bank, depends on financial pledges given by donors during the conference, according to Keita.

"The Brussels conference provides a unique opportunity for the international community to increase its support for the consolidation of peace and reconstruction in the Central African Republic. Without justice, there cannot be a durable reconciliation,” she said.

Stressing that a Special Criminal Court should become operational as of 2017 and national consultations should be launched on setting up non-judicial mechanisms of truth and reconciliation, Ms. Keita warned that any gains would be lost if further action was not taken.

"The institutional progress made in the last few months, such as the ratification of seven human rights treaties and the adoption by the legislative assembly of the law on parity, confirm the will of the authorities to advance on the path of peace and reconstruction," she said.

"But, the persistence of human rights violations and the outbreaks of violence since September show how critical it is to support the efforts of the population and government in the field of human rights and development."

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, who are mostly Christian, had plunged CAR into a civil conflict in 2013.

Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest. More than 13,000 UN staff are currently based there as part of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the country, known as MINUSCA.
-0-  PANA  AA/AR  16Nov2016

16 november 2016 19:00:30

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