Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations during the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic 21 February 2019

Thank you, President

Mr President,

At the outset let me join others in thanking  the outgoing Special Representative and head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), Mr Parfait Onanga-Anyanga and, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, H.E. Ambassador Smaïl Chergui for their comprehensive briefings. Likewise, we express our appreciation to Mr Koen Vervaeke, the Managing Director at the European External Action Service.  
Last but not least, Mr President we wish to thank Côte d’Ivoire, the Chair of the Sanctions Committee on CAR as well as Ambassador Omar Hilale of Morocco, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission’s CAR configuration, for their respective briefings.

Mr President,

South Africa welcomes the signing of the new peace agreement on 6 February 2019, under the framework of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR.

In that regard, Mr President we would like to pay tribute to President Omar Al Bhashir of Sudan and President Idriss Deby of Chad for their leadership role in the negotiations on the new peace agreement.

We further congratulate the African Union Commission for the role it played in facilitating and overseeing the negotiations together with all relevant parties including close cooperation with the UN.

South Africa encourages all stakeholders, including this Council to fully support the peace and national reconciliation agenda in support of restoring durable peace, security and development to the CAR, and to implement the above-mentioned agreement.

In our view, the peace and stability in the entire Central Africa region is critical if we are to achieve the Africa we want as outlined in the Agenda 2063.

The recently held elections in the DRC which were relatively calm and peaceful coupled with the determination of the CAR leadership during the negotiation of the peace agreement is no doubt a very positive and welcome development.
Our role as the Council and that of the relevant regional organisations is to support the two countries in their path towards stability and long lasting peace.

Mr President,

We also, however, note with concern the dire humanitarian situation in the CAR, with over 25% of the population internally displaced and millions in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. We urge the international community to support the on-going efforts aimed at addressing the desperate humanitarian situation in the country.

Mr President,

South Africa wishes to underscore the importance of implementing disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and repatriation and security sector reform. South Africa calls on MINUSCA to continue to assist with the above and to develop quick impact projects that would allow for the reintegration of demobilised elements of rebel groups into CAR society.

South Africa supports the concerted efforts by the international community through the AU, UN and regional and international partners to continue engaging in post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts in the country, particularly in support of establishing critical state and institutional capacity in support of governance, judicial and security sector reform.

Mr President,

We remain concerned about the on-going targeted violence by armed groups and criminal gangs perpetrated against the vulnerable civilian population in most parts of the CAR. This is giving rise to a climate of human rights violations and a burgeoning humanitarian crisis, which is of serious concern to South Africa.

The scale of the challenge highlights the need for this Council to ensure that adequate funding and resources from UN Assessed Contributions is allocated to MINUSCA in fulfilment and expansion of its current mandate.

Finally, Mr President,

South Africa would like to emphasise the importance of peacebuilding in order to ensure a sustainable peace and to kick start the CAR economy, which will prevent recourse to armed conflict.

In this regard, we call on the Peacebuilding Commission to coordinate its efforts with the African Union and regional mechanism to support the post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts.  

South Africa stands ready to assist in moving the peace process forward through the promotion of reconciliation and supporting the roadmap, including towards a new constitution.

We aspire to stable Central African Region.
I thank you

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation





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