CAR

Central African Republic: News bulletin No. 81, 13 - 20 Oct 2008

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Posted
Originally published
Highlights

- Amnesty law, promulgated by President Bozizé on 14 October, rejected by APRD

- Close to $15 million allocated by the African Development Bank for economic reform

- Court houses rehabilitated in four towns

- The Ndélé-Azène road is open for traffic again

Background and security

Amnesty law rejected by the APRD

The amnesty law, one of the conditions for the inclusive political dialogue which is to bring together the Central African government, militant groups, opposition, and civil society, was promulgated by President François Bozizé on 14 October.

Jean-Jacques Démafouth of the Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy (APRD) reiterated that this amnesty law was "inacceptable". In particular, he disagrees with the clause stating that rebel fighters must be regrouped and stationed in a military camp within two months. If the cantonment does not take place within the two months proscribed by the law, rebels will lose the benefit of the amnesty.

Immigration Chief killed

Hervé Trépassé, the Director-General of Immigration at the Ministry of Interior, was killed on 15 October in Bangui in an apparent settling of scores.

Current events

Close to $15 million for economic reform

The Central African Republic will receive a grant of $14.8 million in support of the country's economic reform programme approved by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group.

The balance of payments support programme comprises a $10.1 million grant from the African Development Fund and a $4.7 million AfDB surplus account grant, approved by the Board on 15 October in Tunis. The money will finance the country's second Economic Reform Support Programme 2008-2009 and contribute to the Bank's response to the food crisis in CAR.

The Economic Reform Support Programme has two components: (i) Improving public finance management; and (ii) consolidating public sector economic governance. The resources from the AfDB surplus account will be used to purchase agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, improved seeds and agricultural tools to boost food crops production in CAR.

Court houses rehabilitated in four towns

The project in support of judicial security for development, the judicial system and human rights (PRASEJ), aims at establishing community-based justice mechanisms in target zones in the interior of the country.

In February of this year, the project delivered eight vehicles to the law courts of Bozoum, Bossangoa, Sibut and Kaga-Bandoro. PRASEJ further finished the rehabilitation of the court houses in these four towns in September, which were handed over to the Ministry of Justice. The lawyers and their assistants, who are to raise awareness among the population on access to the judicial council, were presented to the local authorities.

In addition, four directors and 12 prison wardens, all women, received basic training at the National School of Administration prior to their deployment. In Bossangoa, a building was allocated to serve as a women's prison but it still needs to be rehabilitated.

PRASEJ, now in its second phase of implementation, is the result of a collaboration between the Central African government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and France, which is funding most of the activities.

For more information: christian.ndotah@undp.org

Azène-Ndélé road open for traffic again

The Aid Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), a French NGO, constructed or rehabilitated 12 bridges and three ducts on the national road number 8 between Azène and Ndélé, in coordination with the Ministry of Equipment and Regional Development and in support of road rehabilitation works carried out by the National Office for Equipment. The joint work renders this road, which is essential to reach the people of the Nana-Gribizi and Bamingui-Bangoran provinces in the north-east of the country, open for traffic again.

The road works were carried out by 386 skilled and unskilled day laborers, who were recruited among the most vulnerable people in the villages close to the building sites. They were paid in cash and received a mid-day meal at work provided by the World Food Programme (WFP). The meals ensured that the teams remained motivated while they also contributed to their nutritional balance and allowed families to make some savings.

Since 27 September, date on which all bridges and ducts were finished, the streams between Azène and Ndélé can be crossed throughout the year and the time it takes to drive the distance is reduced by one third. The project was funded by the Emergency Response Fund (ERF), which has since been replaced by the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF).

The project is part of a larger road rehabilitation scheme implemented by ACTED in Nana-Gribizi around Kaga-Bandoro and between Kaga-Bandoro and Mbrès.

For more information: yannick.deville@acted.org

Coordination

Early recovery network in action

Since July, the network on early recovery, one of the sectors in the humanitarian coordination set-up in CAR, is supported by a full-time coordinator made available by UNDP. The recovery network has since multiplied its activities with the development of a work plan and guiding principles, which are to serve as resource mobilisation instruments.

In addition, the network functions as sub-committee for the technical appraisal of recovery project proposals submitted for funding by the Peacebuilding Fund. Twenty projects were reviewed. Another 12 projects were revised and selected for inclusion in the 2009 Coordinated Aid Programme and three projects were prioritized for funding by the CHF.

The network also collaborates with the implementation unit of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and supports UNDP in conducting a situation analysis of the early recovery actions of partners in conflict zones.

For more information: ibrahima.sakho@undp.org

Contact us: UN OCHA Bangui, CAR
Nancy Snauwaert | snauwaert@un.org | +236 75 54 22 78
Gisèle Willybiro | willybiro@un.org | +236 75 54 90 31

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