The UN secretary-general’s special representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), Mankeur Ndiaye, warned Thursday that the country faces the grave risk of a setback.
“The Central African Republic runs a serious risk of a setback in terms of security and peacebuilding, which could undermine everything that this council and the partners of the Central African Republic have helped to build,” Ndiaye told the Security Council in a briefing.
After the Constitutional Court’s release on Monday of the final results of the presidential election and its proclamation of the re-election of President Faustin Archange Touadera, the situation remains tense on the ground, he said.
The wave of violence, which preceded the election, continues, following the creation of a new coalition of armed groups, the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), whose alliance with political actors, in particular former President Francois Bozize, is now established.
Their initial goal of the CPC was to disrupt the presidential election. Most recently, the coalition is attempting to unseat President Touadera, he said. He made a forceful appeal for additional support.
Ongoing violence against civilians, authorities, security forces and peacekeepers is testing the capacities of the peacekeeping mission.
To cope with the new threat, and to avoid that it takes a lasting hold on the country’s territory, the response of the mission must be frank, clear and robust, he said.
Ndiaye said the only sustainable answer to today’s challenges is political. There is a need to think about how best the international community — the United Nations, bilateral partners and regional actors — could collectively support the strengthening of governance and the diligent building of the country’s institutions, he said.
Central Africans have demonstrated that they are no longer willing to tolerate the use of violence to deprive them of their fundamental rights, such as the right to vote, said Ndiaye.
The resilience and enthusiasm encourage the peacekeeping mission and the entire international community to continue to support them on the path of reconciliation, reconstruction, dialogue and inclusion. It is certainly a difficult path, but remains the only one that may lead to lasting peace, he said.