Security Council welcomes postelection institutions in Central African Republic

In a statement read out in a formal meeting by Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece, which holds the 15-nation body’s presidency for the month of July, the Council, pleased by the successful presidential and legislative elections, which took place in two rounds on 13 March and 8 May, invited the CAR Government and all political and social forces to “consolidate national dialogue and ensure national reconciliation with a view to achieving sustainable development in their country.”Civil conflict in CAR initially erupted in the mid-1990s when soldiers staged a series of mutinies. The UN Peace-building Support Office in the country (BONUCA) was created in February 2000. But tensions continued due to the civil war and political unrest in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the UN Department of Political Affairs.Just two weeks ago, UN Resident Coordinator Stan Nkwain stressed the risk that impoverished post-election CAR could slide back into conflict if not given immediate aid, and that the Government needed help paying more than three years of salary arrears and in servicing a national debt that is 85 per cent of its gross national product (GNP).In its statement, the Council requested Secretary-General Kofi Annan to explore the possibility of setting up a follow-up committee or enlarging the Committee of Foreign Partner to Follow Up on the Electoral Process to support the reconstruction efforts initiated by the Central Africans.“The Council also expressed concern at the insecurity reigning in the north and west of the country, due to the presence of armed groups in those regions, and expressed deep concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation, particularly in the north of the country,” Ambassador Vassilakis said.The Council also acknowledged efforts by the Central African defence and security forces to guarantee satisfactory safety conditions during the electoral process, and commended the Multinational Force of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (FOMUC), France, the European Union, China and Germany for providing decisive support to them.

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