Central African Republic: News bulletin No. 59, 05 - 12 May 2008
- Peace deal between Central African Government and APRD
- CAR eligible for the UN Peace-Building Fund
- Reconstruction of homes for the displaced in Nana-Grébizi
- Review of the humanitarian strategy in Bangui on 9 May
Background and security
APRD peace agreement
The Popular Army for the Restoration of the Republic and Democracy (APRD) on 9 May concluded a peace deal with the Central African Government in Libreville. Jean-Jacques Démafouth, President of the APRD, signed for the movement, while Cyriaque Gonda, Minister of Communication, Civic Affairs, Dialogue and National Reconciliation, signed on behalf of the Government.
The deal includes an immediate ceasefire, amnesty, and the suspension of judicial procedures against military and civil members of the APRD, as well as the billeting of rebel fighters. A committee composed of three APRD and three government members was set up to oversee the implementation of the agreement. The committee will operate under the patronage of the President of Gabon, Omar Bongo.
Missions of Dialogue Preparatory Committee
In April, the members of the Preparatory Committee of the Inclusive Political Dialogue, divided into four groups, conducted missions to contact and inform the Presidents of Gabon and Libya and key actors in the current crises in CAR. The mission members met Laurent Djimwé, spokesman of the APRD in Paoua on 11 April, Jean-Jacques Démafouth of the APRD and other interlocutors in Paris from 11 to 15 April, Abdoulaye Miskine of the Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC) and President Kadhafi in Tripoli on 16 April, former President Ange-Félix Patassé in Lomé on 19 April, and President Omar Bongo in Libreville on 23 April.
All interlocutors expressed the will to contribute to the ongoing peace process. The APRD, Ange-Félix Patassé, and Abdoulaye Miskine demanded security and judiciary guarantees which should facilitate the participation of all in the Dialogue. Patassé has proposed a tripartite meeting among the two former Presidents and President Bozizé.
During the visit to Libreville, in the presence of President Bozizé, participants agreed on the following measures, to be taken prior to the Dialogue: (i) a peace agreement between the Government and the APRD, (ii) a global peace agreement and, (iii) the adoption of appropriate judiciary and security measures.
The delegation requested President Bongo to accept the chairmanship of the Dialogue. In Tripoli, President Kadhafi pledged to financially support the Dialogue and he exhorted all parties to respect their commitments.
Head of European diplomacy in Bangui
Javier Solana, High Representative for Foreign Policy and Common Security of the European Union, met the President of CAR and bilateral and multilateral partners during his visit to Bangui on 9 May. He was accompanied by General Patrick Nash, the Paris-based commander of the European Force for CAR and Chad (EUFOR).
The discussions revolved around the deployment of EUFOR and other issues concerning the collaboration between the European Union and CAR. Mr. Solana asserted that Europe is a committed partner of the country in various areas, including security through by the presence of EUFOR in the far northeast.
Mission of the UN Peace Building Fund
Several members of the UN Peace Building Support Office, headed by Carolyn McAskie, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, visited Bangui from 4 to 10 May. The Office manages the Peace Building Fund, for which CAR has been declared eligible last January by the UN Secretary General. The country already received funding from the Fund through its emergency window for the functioning of the Preparatory Committee for the Inclusive Political Dialogue.
The mission, with Ms. McAskie present from 8 to 10 May, aimed at finalizing CAR's priority plan, submitted to the Fund at the end of April, and at establishing the Fund's Steering Committee and Secretariat in Bangui. The priority plan proposes to fund projects in three areas: (i) security sector reform, (ii) governance,including decentralization of basic public services, the reform of the justice sector, the respect of the constitution and of human rights and, (iii) recovery of communities affected by conflict and income generating activities.
An appeal for the submission of projects in these three focus areas is planned for July. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will be charged with the administration of the projects. United Nations organizations and their partners, ministerial departments and NGOs, are eligible to receive funding.
For more information: www.unpbf.org
Border police training ongoing
Capacity building of the Police force and the Gendarmerie is among the key tasks assigned to the Civil Police section of the United Nations Peace Building Office (BONUCA) in CAR. The organization supports the ongoing training course for the border police, which will strengthen their technical skills in the surveillance of migratory movements and the security of airports, land and river borders.
Twenty five police officers, five of them women, participate in this training from 21 April to 20 May. The course is the first one in a series of three, also including a training of judicial police officers and another one on ethics in general and professional codes of ethics.
Homes for the displaced in Nana Grébizi
A team of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in the central northern province of Nana Grébizi has been implementing an emergency response since February 2007. The programme covers health and environmental health, protection, gender-based violence, and education.
As displaced people started moving back to their villages early this year, IRC's protection team worked with returnees to identify individuals in need of support. Communities came together to help elderly people isolated from their families, children without guardians, people living with illness or disability, and women raising their families alone.
With the help of volunteer workers, homes are being rebuilt for these vulnerable individuals and families, previously without shelter. Beneficiaries cook food for the workers, using rations distributed by the World Food Program (WFP).
Gradual but fragile improvements in security, and the reopening of schools and health centers with the support of IRC, have now drawn many displaced people back to their villages in Nana Grébizi on a more permanent basis. In a small village of 27 families, ten were helped with volunteer labor. Once all of the homes were completed, IRC distributed doors to every household through a rehabilitation program supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Review of the Humanitarian Strategy
Over 30 NGO and UN agency representatives of the humanitarian community discussed the context, the emergency needs and the humanitarian response strategy for the second half of 2008 during a workshop in Bangui on 9 May. The current needs of the people affected by insecurity, the adjusted priority strategies and the revised humanitarian projects will be part of the review of the Consolidated Appeal Process, which will be finalized and published in July.
UN OCHA Bangui, CAR
Nancy Snauwaert | email@example.com | +236 75 54 22 78
Gisèle Willybiro | firstname.lastname@example.org | +236 75 54 90 31