New York, US - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on Wednesday welcomed the establishment of a new transition government in the Central African Republic (CAR) and urged determined national and international efforts to stop sectarian violence, which is affecting more than half of the country’s population.
In a statement made available to PANA in New York, Ban congratulated the new Head of State of the Transition, Ms. Catherine Samba-Panza, and Prime Minister, Mr. Andre Nzapayeke, for their efforts to 'put the transition back on track”.
Ms. Samba-Panza, CAR’s first woman leader, was elected last week by the country’s transitional parliament.
She took over from Mr. Michel Djotodia, who had replaced ousted president Francois Bozize, and resigned earlier this month, along with his prime minister, after failing to check the spiralling religious violence.
The secretary-general stated: 'The establishment of a new Government offers a fresh opportunity to move the political process forward', while reiterating UN readiness to support CAR's transitional authorities in their efforts to ensure the security and the welfare of the people.
He also reiterated his appeal 'to all those in a position to do so to provide financial and in-kind assistance to the African-led and French-backed peacekeeping force (MISCA) to quell the violence in CAR.
Thousands of people are estimated to have been killed, and 2.2 million, about half the population, need humanitarian aid in a conflict which erupted when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels launched attacks in December 2012 and has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias known as anti-Balaka have taken up arms.