A senior envoy told the United Nations Security Council Thursday that the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) remained serious despite the recent signing of a peace deal.
“The signing of the Global Agreement for Peace and National Reconciliation on Feb. 6 is the culmination of a long process,” said Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN mission in the CAR.
The global peace agreement, signed by the CAR Government and 14 armed groups in Bangui on Feb. 6, was the major focus of the day’s meeting.
In his final briefing to the Security Council, Onanga-Anyanga said that “Central Africans have come a long way, and despite numerous challenges…they deserve our admiration and encouragement.”
Since conflict began in the CAR in 2012, due to fighting between the mostly Christian anti-Balaka militia and the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition, thousands of civilians have been killed and two out of three people in the small Central African nation have become dependent on humanitarian aid.
“While we are right to welcome the fact that our multifaceted efforts have allowed this important political advance in the Central African Republic, we must remain vigilant because the situation remains serious,” said the UN envoy, adding that “the unbearable fate of displaced people and refugees, as well as scenes of senseless violence and the many victims (are a nagging reminder) of this”.
Onanga-Anyanga stressed that the signing of the peace deal was a “necessary and decisive step, certainly, but only one step”.
“The hardest thing is indeed to come. The real test will be in the full and good faith implementation of the agreement,” he said.
With that in mind, he called on all stakeholders to scrupulously honor the commitments they had made under the agreement and not to betray the confidence placed in them by the Central African people and all those who accompanied them throughout the peace process.
“The country today has the opportunity to open a new page full of promise and that turns its back, definitely, to a painful story,” said Onanga-Anyanga, and he urged the parties to always pursue dialogue to sustain the new political and social consensus put forward by the Feb. 6 agreement.
Onanga-Anyanga said that the support of the Security Council, the countries of the region and the wider international community remained essential for the successful implementation of the peace agreement.
Heading up the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) since August 2015, Onanga-Anyanga will be succeeded by Mankeur Ndiaye of Senegal. Enditem