Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination in Central African Republic, August 2020

Manual and Guideline
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What is civil-military coordination in a humanitarian context?

UN-CMCoord: “the essential dialogue and interaction between civilian and military actors in humanitarian emergencies that is necessary to protect and promote humanitarian principles, avoid competition, minimize inconsistency and, when appropriate, pursue common goals”.

In Central African Republic (CAR), there are specific guidelines dated 3 October 2017, which provide a framework for UN-CMCOORD activities. These guidelines are based on global rules and principles but are more operational and specific to the CAR context. They refer not only to the coordination with the military component of MINUSCA, but also with the police and civilian components. They were validated by the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), the Force Commander of the MINUSCA and the Humanitarian Coordinator.

General objectives of the guidelines

  • Provide clear operational guidance and a well-defined liaison framework on the relationship between humanitarian partners and MINUSCA

  • Ensure efficiency by coordinating activities, eliminating duplication of tasks and minimizing inconsistencies

  • Ensure that humanitarian principles are respected, and that access and humanitarian space are protected.

Specific objectives of the guidelines

  • Provide operational guidance for constructive interaction and coordination between humanitarian actors and MINUSCA through a specific framework and clearly identified mechanisms by area of convergence

  • Promote a consistent and constructive approach for coexistence between humanitarian actors and MINUSCA

  • Establish information-sharing and liaison arrangements.

  • Identify clear criteria to request use of military, police, and civil defence assets (MCDA)

  • Enhance understanding of humanitarian principles (humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence) by all parties, adherence to these principles by humanitarian actors and their respect by MINUSCA, to facilitate immediate, full, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance

  • Enhance understanding of MINUSCA institutions, protocols, modus operandi, and constraints by humanitarian actors

  • Maintain clear distinction between humanitarian actors and MINUSCA so that humanitarian actors can deliver assistance to save lives and alleviate human suffering in accordance with humanitarian principles

  • Outline the parameters of MINUSCA engagement in direct and indirect assistance, as well as infrastructure support activities, Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) and CIMIC activities

  • Establish a mechanism to monitor the application of the guidelines and to ensure the commitments taken by all parties are respected and any issues that may arise are resolved constructively

  • Strengthen CMCOORD capacities through targeted training in the field, in Bangui and also online

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