With its emergency situation ended and its elections behind it, the Central African Republic (CAR) "has the tools needed to embark resolutely on the path of peace, reconstruction and sustainable development," United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says.
In a new report to the Security Council, he thanks those countries and organizations that have assisted the country with the electoral process and asks for continued help to the newly elected government which will have to focus on reconstruction in all areas of national life during its five-year term in office.
"The support of the international community for the action of the Central African authorities is essential for the consolidation of the democratic achievements of recent weeks. I appeal to the good will and generosity of the partners of the Central African Republic, which should provide considerable and immediate financial support to the economic reconstruction effort now under way," he says.
Aid is particularly necessary because CAR is one of the most critical parts of a sub-region where peace is still fragile and volatile, Mr. Annan says.
Civil conflict in CAR initially erupted in the mid-1990s when soldiers staged a series of mutinies. The UN Peace-building Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) was created in February 2000. But tensions continued due to the civil war and political unrest in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the UN Department of Political Affairs.
On human rights and national security, Mr. Annan says, "I encourage the new authorities to do everything possible to ensure respect for human rights. It is important for the restoration of trust and reconciliation among the Central Africans that the violators should be brought to justice."
Besides restructuring the national military forces, he says, "impetus should be given to the contacts established at the highest political level in the Central African Republic, Cameroon and Chad on possible responses to the direct security threat to the Central African Republic and certain countries of the sub-region posed by the armed gangs and other roadblockers," the local highway robbers known as Zaraguinas.