8666TH MEETING (AM)
Pointing to Peace Agreement Violations by Armed Groups, Permanent Representative Highlights Mission’s Proactive Defence of Civilians
The Security Council today decided unanimously to extend the mandate of its Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic for one year, outlining a range of priority tasks, including supporting the country’s Peace Agreement, preparing for elections and protecting civilians amid continued attacks by armed groups.
By the terms of resolution 2499 (2019), adopted under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the 15‑nation Council decided to renew the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) until 15 November 2020. It also decided to maintain the Mission’s current troop levels of 11,650 military personnel and 2,080 police personnel, tasking them with the strategic objective of creating the political, security and institutional conditions conducive to sustainably reducing the presence of — and threat posed by — armed groups.
The Council reiterated its support to the Government of the Central African Republic and its efforts to adhere to the country’s 6 February Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation. Urging both the State and the armed group signatories to that Agreement to implement it in good faith and without delay, the Council also demanded that the latter cease all violations — including violence against civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel — and to immediately and unconditionally lay down their arms.
By other terms of the resolution, Council members urged the Government and other national stakeholders to prepare for inclusive, free, fair, transparent, credible, peaceful and timely elections in 2020 and 2021. It called on them to push forward efforts to restore State authority over the entire Central African Republic territory. In addition, it laid out priority tasks for MINSUCA, including the protection of civilians; good offices and support to the peace process; support to preparations for peaceful elections; facilitating the safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid; and the promotion and protection of human rights.
Among those priorities, the Council also charged MINUSCA with various urgent temporary measures, including arresting and detaining individuals, at the formal request of national authorities, in places where the latter’s security forces are not present or operational. It made additional requests to the Mission and other stakeholders in such areas as economic recovery and development, weapons and ammunition management, child protection, combating sexual violence and the fight against impunity.
The Council also reiterated its concern about gaps in MINUSCA’s capabilities and requested the Secretary‑General to allocate adequate personnel and expertise and to ensure MINUSCA’s full compliance with the United Nations zero‑tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse.
Speaking after the vote, Nicolas de Riviere (France), welcomed MINUSCA’s robust and proactive posture and stressed that the Mission must continue to support the redeployment of the Central African Republic’s security forces and protect and promote the 6 February peace agreement. Further, armed groups must cease any violations of that accord. Noting that the resolution also tasks MINUSCA with supporting preparations for elections in 2020 and 2021, he said all actors should work constructively to ensure their free, fair and timely convening.
Gbolié Désiré Wulfran Ipo (Côte d’Ivoire), also speaking for South Africa and Equatorial Guinea, said the mandate renewal will buttress tangible progress already made towards restoring peace and stability in the Central African Republic. Constructive negotiations on today’s text made it possible to adopt a resolution that foregrounds the implementation of the Peace Agreement and support for the gradual restoration of State authority, among other priorities. He encouraged coherence and transparency in the provision of international support for the Central African Republic, noting that the year to come — with its imminent elections — will be an important turning point in the country’s history.
Dian Triansyah Djani (Indonesia), stating that MINUSCA plays a crucial role in the Central African Republic, especially in the protection of civilians, said: “MINSUCA is first and foremost a peacekeeping mission.” The safety and security of its personnel will always be the top priority for his country. Calling for regular, close consultations with troop‑contributing countries, he said that more efforts to enhance mandate awareness and produce better‑performing peacekeepers was needed. Indonesia is the largest troop contributor to MINUSCA among the Council’s members and its staff needs to be properly resourced and equipped to carry out their work. In addition, outstanding performance in the Mission should be recognized and incentivized, he said, adding that his delegation will continue to seek balance on that matter in future peacekeeping resolutions.
Ambroisine Kpongo (Central African Republic), also welcoming the renewal of MINUSCA’s mandate, pointed out that the last year has been marred by violence and violations of the peace agreement by various armed groups. Against that backdrop, it is crucial that the Council continue to back her Government, she said, highlighting the Mission’s proactive and robust actions in defence of civilians. Outlining preparations for the country’s upcoming elections, she said tremendous challenges — including human rights abuses and other violations of international law — continue to obstruct those efforts. “These elections will require energy and efforts,” she stressed, noting that they are crucial to ensuring that the gains made so far are preserved and consolidated.
The meeting began at 10:22 a.m. and ended at 10:40 a.m.