The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary- General Kofi Annan:
Pursuant to Security Council resolution 1271 (1999) of 22 October, which envisaged the phased withdrawal of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA), the first four United Nations infrantry companies repatriated from Bangui last week. The drawdown of the civilian and military personnel of the Mission will be conducted in stages, with the full closure of MINURCA envisaged for 15 February 2000.
With the challenging tasks performed by MINURCA almost complete, the Secretary-General, in his letter to the Security Council dated 3 December, proposed to establish a United Nations Peace-Building Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA), aimed at assisting in the efforts to consolidate peace, strengthening democratic institutions and economic recovery. The Security Council has taken note of the Secretary-General's proposal with appreciation.
MINURCA has been a source of stability both in the Central African Republic and in the subregion. The United Nations will do everything possible to ensure a seamless transition from peacekeeping to the post-conflict peace-building phase in the country.