Declaration by the EU Presidency on the coup d'état in Central African Republic

Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the coup d'état on 15 March 2003 in the Central African Republic
The European Union firmly condemns the military coup d'état which took place on 15 March in the Central African Republic. The European Union deplores the loss of human lives which this has caused among both the local population and foreign nationals, and among the CEMAC peacekeeping forces in particular.

The European Union rejects any unconstitutional seizure of power. It emphasises its attachment to democratic principles and to free and democratic elections, which are the only means for a change of Government.

The European Union calls on the rebel forces to take all steps to end the violence and its material consequences for the civilian population.

The European Union urges the Central African authorities and all nationals of the Central African Republic to resume forthwith the political dialogue which is the only means of returning to the path of reconciliation, democracy and national reconstruction.

The European Union reiterates its support for the CEMAC force, on the understanding that it is up to the CEMAC countries to make any adjustments they deem advisable, in particular to enable that regional force to help find a way out of the crisis by peaceful means.

Reaffirming its support for the efforts of the African Union, the CEMAC and the sub-regional organisations to restore peace in the Central African Republic, the European Union stresses the importance of respect for democratic principles, which are the condition for its cooperation with the CAR and the other ACP States.

The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.