Communique of the 1011th meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the Report of the PSC Field Mission to the Central African Republic, 21 July 2021

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Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at 1011th meeting held on 21 July 2021, on the Report of the PSC Field Mission to the Central African Republic undertaken from 27 June to 1 July 2021.

The Peace and Security Council,

Taking note of the presentation of the Report of the PSC Field Mission to the Central African Republic, by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Burundi to the AU and PSC Chairperson for June 2021, H.E. Joel Nkurabagaya;

Reaffirming the AU solidarity with the people and the Government of the CAR in their aspirations to the current crisis, restore peace, stability and development in their country, and also reaffirming the AU unwavering commitment to respect the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of the CAR;

Mindful of the critical role of the AU role as a Guarantor of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central Africa Republic (PAPR-CAR), signed on 6 February 2019 in Khartoum, in Sudan by the Government of the CAR and fourteen armed groups, and also mindful of the need to ensure its full implementation;

Recalling all its decisions and pronouncements on the situation in the CAR, particularly Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. (CMLXXIX)] adopted at its 979th meeting held on 16 February 2021; and

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

  1. Welcomes the steady progress in the implementation of the PAPR-CAR, particularly, the holding of the presidential and legislative elections, which has significantly contributed to the promotion of relative institutional stability, safeguarding of constitutional order, and promotion of democratic representation, despite the continued insecurity posed by armed groups and their political allies;

  2. Congratulates President Faustin Archange Touadéra for his re-election as CAR President and Head of State, and welcomes the formation of the National Assembly, the appointment of a new Prime Minister and the formation of the new Government of the CAR;

  3. Commends the CAR authorities, for placing the supreme interests of the country and its people above all else, by demonstrating the required leadership and calls on the rest of the CAR political actors to do the same;

  4. Stresses that the 2019 Agreement is the only viable approach for holistically addressing most of the challenges facing the CAR, including those relating to the diversity of the Government, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, as well as those aimed at addressing the structural root causes and drivers of the conflict and emphasizes its full implementation, in letter and spirit, under the coordination of the AU;

  5. Urges the signatory parties to the 2019 Agreement, particularly the armed groups that have pulled out, to put their differences aside, prioritize the supreme interests of their country above all else, unconditionally cease all hostilities, recommit to the peace process, and to embrace dialogue as the only viable approach for addressing any differences they may have and, in this context, appeals to all CAR stakeholders to accept the call by President Touadera for national dialogue and underscores the importance of ensuring inclusivity in such dialogue;

  6. Encourages the CAR authorities and all other political stakeholders to invest more in trust and confidence-building measures including maintaining channels of communication with opposition political parties, as well as with all armed groups that are signatories of the 2019 Political Agreement, in order to bringing them back to the peace process without any prejudice to the fight against impunity;

  7. Underscores the need for necessary steps to be taken to ensure the transparency, integrity and credibility and integrity of local elections planned for 2022, including re-opening of the voters’ registration exercise;

  8. Emphasizes the importance of creating conducive conditions for effective participation of women and youth in the CAR peace processes, including in promoting reconciliation, economic recovery and development, transitional justice and peacebuilding;

  9. Expresses deep concern over the deteriorating security situation in the CAR with the attendant economic and humanitarian consequences; condemns all attacks against the population and symbols of the State as well as against peacekeepers, strongly warns all those responsible for these heinous acts that they shall be brought to justice, welcomes the establishment of a special commission of inquiry on allegations of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, and affirms the readiness of Council to take stern measures against any spoilers and perpetrators of heinous crimes;

  10. Underlines that there can be no justification for violence by whomsoever and under whatever circumstances, and in this context, strongly condemns the CPC for resorting to violence and urges the CPC to immediately and unconditionally stop violence and embrace the current peace process;

  11. Requests the Chairperson of the AU Commission, working in close coordination with the Government of CAR, to undertake an assessment exercise on the illegal flow of arms in CAR and submit a detailed report to Council, as soon as possible;

  12. Underscores the need for the lifting of the arms embargo imposed on the CAR by the United Nations Security Council to enable country to build the required capacity of the CAR defense and security forces, in order to enable them to more effectively discharge their constitutional mandate of defending the country;

  13. Encourages the Government of CAR to take necessary steps to combat illegal exploitation of the country’s mineral resources, as well as to ensure accountability, transparency, judicious management and equitable distribution of the accrued revenue with a view to improving the delivery of basic public services and the general wellbeing of the CAR people;

  14. Requests the Chairperson of the AU Commission to provide necessary support to the CAR in the area of security sector reform and demobilization, disarmament, rehabilitation and reintegration;

  15. Encourages the relevant United Nations agencies in the CAR, particularly the UN Development Programme (UNDP), as well as other development partners of the CAR, to continue to provide their development aid based on the priority needs of the CAR Government;

  16. Requests the AU Commission, including the AU Centre for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD) to urgently undertake a technical needs assessment mission to the CAR, with a view to mapping out the priority needs of the CAR Government;

  17. Note with deep concern the dire humanitarian situation in the CAR and appeals to all AU Member States and the wider international community to continue to provide humanitarian support to the population in need;

  18. Request the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa-CDC) to continue providing support to CAR in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, including in the acquisition of vaccines;

  19. Commends the Economic Community of Central African States and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) for their continued support to the peace process in the CAR and stresses the need for enhanced transparency, harmonization and coordination, as well as complementarity of efforts under the lead role of the AU;

  20. Requests the Chairperson of the AU Commission to continue to use his good offices to engage the Government of the CAR and its neighbours to amicably resolve the challenges facing them;

  21. Reaffirm the solidarity and unwavering commitment of the AU to continue to support the Government and people of CAR in their aspirations to restore lasting peace and stability, and promote national reconciliation and development in their country;

  22. Expresses gratitude to the CAR authorities for facilitating the field mission and for finding time to interact with the PSC Delegation, also expresses gratitude to the United Nations Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) for the logistical support, and to all interlocutors for the invaluable information shared with the PSC Delegation;

  23. Expresses particular gratitude to the AU Office in the CAR for facilitating the successful conduct of the field mission, commends the efforts of the Office in effectively promoting the visibility of the AU on the ground; notes with deep concern, the institutional capacity constraints facing the Office and, in this regard, requests the Chairperson of the Commission to urgently take necessary measures to ensure that the Office is availed with all necessary capacity , in order to enable it to more effectively discharge its mandate, including supporting the implementation of the 2019 Political Agreement, taking into consideration the role of the AU as Guarantor of the Agreement; and

  24. Decides to remain actively seized of the situation.