CAR

Central African Republic: Signature of a New Action Plan to Protect Children

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News and Press Release
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New York, 5 July 2019 – The Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC), part of the Former Séléka coalition and party to the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic, signed an Action Plan to end and prevent grave violations against children with the United Nations.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba welcomes the signing and asks for its immediate implementation.

The Action Plan addresses the four violations for which the FPRC is listed, namely the recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence and attacks on schools and hospitals, and also includes abduction and denial of humanitarian access, in order to strengthen prevention efforts.

“The UN and its partners will support the implementation of this Action Plan,” Special Representative Gamba said. “I call on all armed groups in CAR to immediately end and prevent all grave violations against children, release children from their ranks and when appropriate, adopt action plans with the UN,” she added.

Within the framework of its efforts to protect children from grave child rights violations and advance accountability in the Central African Republic, the UN has encouraged armed groups to take steps to prevent their elements from committing grave child rights violations, such as issuing Command Directives prohibiting the recruitment and use of children, and Action Plans.

The Special Representative visited the Central African Republic earlier this year where she met in Kaga Bandoro with members of ex-Seleka, including the FPRC, and Anti-Balaka associated militias, to advocate for rapid action to end abuses against children. During her visit, she also encouraged the Government to develop a national plan to prevent grave violations against children with the 14 signatories armed groups to the peace agreement, with the support of the UN.

The signature of the Action Plan follows other commitments made by the FPRC, including the issuance of a Command Order in 2017 to identify and separate all children within their ranks, as well as granting unlimited access to the UN for verification purposes; the group had also appointed four Child Protection focal points the same year.

The Action Plan with the FPRC is the second signed by a member of the ex-Seleka coalition. The Mouvement Patriotique pour la Centrafrique (MPC) signed an Action Plan with the UN in May 2018. The Special Representative will continue to push for full implementation of these action plans.

Despite these positive developments, armed groups continue to commit grave violations against children in CAR. Furthermore the Special Representative reiterates the importance of ending attacks on humanitarians and encourages the implementation of the 6 February peace agreement’s cessation of hostilities provisions, which address all 6 grave violations against children. She also reminds that support to reintegration programs must be prioritized, as children continue to be released from armed groups they require the necessary support to heal and rebuild their lives.

Note to editors:

UN Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004), 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011), 2225 (2015) and 2427 (2018) on Children and Armed Conflict established measures and tools to end grave violations against children, through the creation of a monitoring and reporting mechanism, and the development of Action Plans to end violations by parties listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict.

In the Central African Republic, three parties to conflict are listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General Annual Report. They are: Former Séléka coalition and associated armed groups (recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals); Local defence militias known as the anti-balaka groups (recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence); and the Lord’s Resistance Army groups (recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abductions).

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For additional information, please contact:
Fabienne Vinet
Communications officer, Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict +1 917 288 5791; vinet@un.org