CAR

Report of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Central African Republic (S/2007/376)

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I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the request of the Security Council contained in the statement issued by its President on 26 September 2001 (S/PRST/2001/25), in which the Council requested me to continue to keep it regularly informed of the situation in the Central African Republic and the activities of the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in that country (BONUCA). The report covers the period from January to June 2007 and describes the situation in its political, socio-economic, humanitarian, security and human rights aspects.

II. Political situation

2. Since my last report, dated 28 December 2006 (S/2006/1034), the political situation has been marked by preparations for an inclusive political dialogue necessitated by a persistent political crisis and rebel activities, especially in the north-western and north-eastern parts of the country. In order to find lasting solutions to the crisis, a number of activities were carried out by various national and international actors.

3. Most notably, the Panel of the Wise, a prominent civil society group, conducted a series of consultations with national political parties, trade unions, civil society organizations and members of the diplomatic community accredited in the country. Most of the stakeholders stressed the need to hold an inclusive political dialogue involving a broad segment of the country's society, as well as the rebel movements that have recently resorted to armed activities against the Government.

4. Subsequently, the Panel of the Wise, having been mandated by President François Bozizé also to consult rebel groups, met with some rebel leaders abroad. It also met with former President Ange-Félix Patassé, who lives in exile since having been overthrown by President Bozizé in March 2003. In March 2007, the Panel presented to President Bozizé its report containing recommendations on holding an inclusive political dialogue. President Bozizé forwarded the report to the National Assembly and the Constitutional Court to seek their views on the document. The report was also circulated to the diplomatic community in the capital, Bangui, and to political parties and members of civil society. As at 11 June, only political parties had commented on the document, while the Constitutional Court and the National Assembly had provided no formal feedback.

5. Among its main conclusions and recommendations, the Panel of the Wise proposed to hold the national dialogue in three stages: (a) preliminary consultations focusing on military and security aspects; (b) preliminary consultations among representatives of all the political parties and civil society organizations to define the content and procedures of the eventual inclusive national dialogue; and (c) an inclusive political conference bringing together all stakeholders and facilitated by an external mediator.