Let me thank SRSG Rugwabiza for her briefing. I welcome the participation of Foreign Minister Baipo Temon and the Under Representative of Angola at this meeting. Let me first emphasise our continued appreciation for MINUSCA’s peacekeepers as they seek to fulfil their mandate in challenging circumstances. The Mission’s improved cooperation with the CAR authorities highlights the importance of effective leadership in pursuing efforts to stabilise the country after decades of conflict.
The UK welcomes the positive progress outlined by the Secretary-General in the latest report. This includes improved border management policy, more inclusion of women in political processes and achieving milestones in disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation and reintegration operations. Now is the time to build on these achievements on the path to peace and stability.
First, CAR authorities must de-conflict its security partners, ensure they abide by international law and end impunity for human rights violations they commit. Wagner Group’s systematic human rights abuses and spread of mis and disinformation are not the solution to the multifaceted challenges in CAR. They only serve to strengthen the narrative of armed groups.
Second, all parties in CAR must recommit to the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation, to ensure a long-term solution to the conflict can be realised. We call on the Government to redouble its efforts to facilitate inclusive dialogue and implement the joint roadmap with all political actors and armed groups. MINUSCA’s role in providing good offices and supporting the peace process continues to be crucial.
Third, conducting local elections remains important for extending democratic local governance and fulfilling the decentralisation required for sustainable peace. With the support of MINUSCA, CAR authorities must fufil their commitment to local elections in 2024.
In conclusion, President, we urge the Council to renew MINUSCA’s mandate with the provisions necessary to allow the mission to further increase its effectiveness. The UK fully supports the Mission in supporting the extension of state authority through joint operations with the CAR military, enabling access to basic services, improving mission capacity, supporting local elections and promoting human rights.