Many challenges lay ahead for the Central African Republic: Annan

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in a report released today that "much remains to be done" in the Central African Republic following the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers on 15 February.
Mr. Annan noted that important elements of the Bangui Agreements, such as the restructuring of the armed forces, had not yet been implemented.

In response to concerns that had been expressed over the possible consequences of the withdrawal of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA), the Secretary-General said that the Security Council had already extended the mission's mandate from its original termination date on 15 November "to ensure a seamless transition to peace-building."

He added that the consolidation of the progress made in the Central African Republic with UN support would depend on the determination of the parties, particularly the government, to honour their commitments and on the continued support of the international community.

After the MINURCA withdrawal, a UN Peace-Building Support Office (BONUCA) will take over to help the government consolidate the peace process and mobilize funds for reconstruction.

"By successfully conducting two national elections and the ongoing reforms," the Secretary-General said, "the people and the Government of the Central African Republic have already demonstrated their strong commitment to democracy and peaceful development."