New York, US - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has expressed deep concerned about the dramatic deterioration in the situation in the Central African Republic and warned that it could have disastrous consequences for the country.
'The staggering level of violence and massive displacement are changing the country’s demography with potentially long-term consequences,' he said in a report to the UN Security Council in New York.
He also urged the international community to act immediately to save the situation saying 'the time to act is now'. Ban also called for cooperation with the neighbours of CAR in finding a lasting solution.
Ban noted that the attacks by anti-balaka militias in December in Bangui against ex-Séléka elements reversed the conflict dynamic and sparked a vicious cycle of reprisals among civilians and clashes between armed militias that deeply affect
civilians throughout the country.
There have been international efforts, in particular the swift deployment of African-led international Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA) and the French forces of Operation Sangaris, which have been critical to saving the lives of civilians.
The Secretary-General commend the African Union (AU) and the French forces for their quick deployment.
Ban welcomed the decision to increase the number of international forces, including through the temporary deployment of a
European Union force and urged European and other leaders to commit additional troops and police personnel during this critical interim phase.
On the political development in the country, the Secretary-General said he was encouraged by the swift formation of the Transitional Government under the leadership of the new Head of State of the Transition, Catherine Samba-Panza, and her expressed willingness to tackle the multiple and daunting challenges ahead.
Ban noted that the Transitional Government would, however, need the sustained engagement of its neighbours, the region and the broader international community to steer the country out of the current crisis.
He said while the United Nations and the international community at large stood ready to support the Central African Republic it was first the responsibility of Central Africans themselves to find a solution to the suffering inflicted on their country.
'I therefore call on all Central African stakeholders to seize the opportunity of this transition period to address the immediate challenges facing the country, cease the violence and restore the country’s tradition of peaceful coexistence, while laying the groundwork for sustainable peace and stability.'
The Secretary-General urged them to cooperate fully with MISCA and other international forces, as well as with my Special Representative on the ground and the proposed peacekeeping mission, once it deploys.
Ban said he had presentedto the Security Council with a six-point initiative proposing immediate measures to stop the violence and killings, protect civilians, prevent the de facto partition of the country, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and provide the Transitional Government with urgently needed support.
'The challenges in the Central African Republic are immense and multifaceted,' the Secretary-General said, stressing that 'the response to the crisis must be comprehensive, multidimensional and sustained in order to help stabilize the country, restore law and order and rebuild State institutions that can secure the country and protect the people.'
Ban said the United Nations mission foresaw strong and close cooperation with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other financial institutions in rebuilding the Central African Republic.