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Central African Republic: News bulletin No. 125, 12 - 19 Oct 2009

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Highlights

- Appointment of Joseph Binguimalé as the head of the Independent Electoral Commission

- Nearly 475 Central African refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo

- The Deputy Executive Director of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Hilde Johnson visited CAR

- "Reducing the impact of soaring food prices in CAR"

Background and security

Joseph Binguimalé at the head of the CIS

The 30-member Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) during a meeting on October 12th in Bangui, elected Pastor Joseph Binguimalé as their head. Binguimalé had previously served as vice-president at the Inclusive Political Dialogue (IPR), held in Bangui 8 to 20 December 2008.

The election, which was attended by the President of the Court of Cassation, Faustin Mbodou, Pastor Binguimalé received 19 votes (65%), against 5 received by Professor Abel Balenguele and 1 vote for the lawyer and defender of human rights, Mathias Morouba Bartholomew.

Coordination of the IEC is composed of five members of the opposition, five government representatives, five representatives of the presidential majority, five representatives of other parties, five representatives of civil society and representatives of five political-military movements.

The IRC will prepare and organize presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2010.

Ange-Félix Patassé in Lybia

According to a Libyan official at a hearing on October 15, Muammar Gaddafi, Lybian president and acting President of the African Union (AU), has renewed his appeal to former CAR president Ange-Félix Patassé to return to his country to help restore lasting peace and stability.

As for Mr. Patassé, he urged on this occasion the President of the AU to continue his efforts under the title of permanent chief mediator for peace and security in the area of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), in particular so that the recommendations of the inclusive dialogue between different political parties in CAR can be implemented and enforced on the ground as soon as possible.

News

Central African refugees in DRC

From 4 to 6 October, a team of United Nations and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) visited the territory of Mobayi Mbongo, District of North Oubangi in the Province of Equateur (DRC), which borders the Central African Republic by the Oubangi River.

The purpose of this mission was to verify the presence of Central African refugees in this region, which followed ethnic clashes between Ngbugus and Ngbadis who live in the district of Basse-Kotto in CAR.

475 CAR refugees had been registered, according to the general directorate for migration.

The refugees did not express a wish of immediate return to their country, due to a reportedly unreliable security situation.

Most CAR refugees are gathered in two pavilions of the Hospital General of Mobayi Mbongo where they live under inhospitable conditions in a small space where women, children, and men from different families share the same room without any privacy.

The local response in terms of accommodation, care, and protection of these Central African refugees remains limited. Humanitarian organizations are virtually nonexistent in the DRC district of North Oubangui. Only a few local NGOs without financial backing try to support these refugees.

Contact kazadi@un.org for more information.

Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF in CAR

Hilde Johnson, the Deputy Executive Director of United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has visited the CAR from 9 to 13 October to assess the humanitarian situation and the needs of children in CAR.

During her visit, she was able to meet with government officials, including the Prime Minister, donor representatives, humanitarian organizations, and UNICEF partners in the capital.

The Deputy Executive Director then went in the northern part of the country most affected by conflict, where she met with politicians, locals, and children participating in programs supported by UNICEF and its partners.

Ms. Johnson expressed concern about the deteriorating situation of children in a country in perpetual crisis, aggravated by the global financial crisis and the reduction in humanitarian funding.

Contact bstarkmerklein@unicef.org for more information.

New FAO projects

In response to the current food crisis, the United Nations and international financial institutions have collaborated with the European Union in developing a food facility amounting to one billion Euros to meet rapidly rising food prices in developing countries.

As part of this food facility, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has signed agreements with the EU for 25 projects totaling 284.7 million U.S. dollars, including 13.4 million dollars for the CAR.

To implement the abovementioned project, FAO organized a national workshop to launch the project, which took place on 15 October. The project entitled "Reducing the impact of soaring food prices in CAR" will be executed by FAO aves its various partners Government of Company civil, private sector and producer groups.

The project will target 14 poles of development and aims to raise short-term agricultural production of vulnerable households affected by the crisis and support the peace process by covering the agricultural reintegration component of DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration).

The process of preparing the project document was interactive with the involvement of the Delegation of the European Commission in CAR and in close consultation with the National Party, the Ministry of Rural Development and Agriculture.

Contact KwamiDzifanu.NyarkoBadohu@fao.org for more information.

Download the full news bulletin 125 (12 - 19 Oct 2009)

News Bulletin 125 - English (PDF) - 112 kB

News Bulletin 125 - Français (PDF) - 112 kB

For more information, please contact:

UN OCHA CAR | Gisele Willybiro-Maïdou | willybiro@un.org | +236 70 18 80 61
UNDP CAR | Tino Kreutzer | tino.kreutzer@undp.org | +236 75 57 50 34

Humanitarian and Development Partnership Team CAR
Find more information on http://www.hdptcar.net/blog/