Last week’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire in the Central African Republic (CAR) is a positive step, the top UN official there told the Security Council as he sought continued support for peace and reconciliation efforts.
Mankeur Ndiaye, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative and head of the MINUSA peacekeeping mission stressed a need to maintain “positive momentum” as CAR authorities work toward democracy and stability in the wake of presidential and parliamentary elections.
The UN mission’s mandate expires next month and Ndiaye said an extension is needed to assist with local elections, last held more than 30 years ago.
The extension, along with government determination and engagement by international partners are essential for lasting political solutions in CAR.
“With the support of all the members of the Council, we will make best use of our good offices to promote a transparent, co-ordinated and coherent approach to generate contributions to resolving the crisis in CAR,” he said through an interpreter.
Ndiaye said the 15 October ceasefire declaration by President Faustin Archange Touadéra was “a major step” toward dialogue in a country plagued by armed violence for nearly a decade.
The truce is in line with a joint roadmap for peace adopted a month earlier by the countries comprising the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). This helped to reinvigorate a February 2019 peace deal signed by CAR government and 14 armed groups.
It could also contribute to an environment conducive to government’s planned inclusive political dialogue.
“It is essential all armed groups and their leaders subscribe to the peace process by fulfilling obligations pursuant to the 6 February agreement and the joint roadmap,” he told the Security Council