Security Council Announces Benchmarks to Guide Decision on Potential Lifting of Arms Embargo against Central African Republic (Presidential Statement S/PRST/2019/3)
Presidential Statement Expresses Readiness to Review Ban, Sets Terms for Removal The Security Council expressed today its readiness to review the arms embargo it imposed on the Central African Republic, announcing a set of benchmarks to guide its decision as to whether it will suspend or progressively lift that restriction later this year.
Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2019/3, Christoph Heusgen (Germany), President for April, recalled the Council’s intention to establish, by 30 April, “clear and well‑identified key benchmarks” to measure progress in reforming the security sector, on advancing the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and rehabilitation process, and on managing weapons and ammunition.
More specifically, the benchmarks would require the Government of the Central African Republic to implement the National Programme for Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation, in particular the socioeconomic reintegration of former members of armed groups and the integration of vetted former members into all uniformed services; and to draft a planning document detailing its needs in terms of weapons and facilities for the storage of ammunition.
Other benchmarks would require the Government to finalize a protocol on the registration and management of armaments intended for the national defence and security forces, covering small arms, light weapons and ammunition; to operationalize a national commission to combat the proliferation of small arms and light weapons; and to establish a protocol on the collection and destruction — or transfer to the armed forces and internal security forces — of unregistered or illicitly held weapons and ammunition seized by the authorities.
The presidential statement reiterated the Council’s request that the Secretary-General conduct an assessment, no later than 31 July, of progress made on the benchmarks, in close consultation with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), United Nations Mine Action Service and the Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic. The Council further recalled its intention to review, by 30 September, the arms embargo in light of that assessment.
It also reiterated the Council’s request that the Central African Republic authorities report to the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013), by 30 June, on progress relating to security sector reform; on the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and rehabilitation process; and on the management of weapons and ammunition. Meanwhile, the Council acknowledged the urgent need of the Central African Republic authorities to train and equip their national defence and security forces.
The Council welcomed the consensus reached by the signatories to the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation, signed in Bangui on 6 February between the Government of the Central African Republic and 14 non-State armed groups. It welcomed also the engagement of the African Union, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the United Nations. Urging stakeholders to implement the peace agreement “in good faith and without delay”, the Council called upon neighbouring countries, regional organizations and all international partners to support its implementation and coordinate their actions with the aim of bringing lasting peace and stability to the country.
The meeting began at 10:08 a.m. and ended at 10:09 a.m.