CAR contact group meets for the fifth time


With nine weeks before the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) takes over responsibility for peacekeeping operations in the strife-torn country the UN’s peacekeeping boss has called for urgent political dialogue.

Herve Ladsous was speaking during this week’s meeting of the International Contact Group on the CAR (ICG-CAR) in Addis Ababa.

MINUSCA (the UN Mission in CAR) is set to take over from the AU-lead International Support Mission (MISCA) in September.

AU Peace and Security commissioner Ambassador Smail Chergui said MISCA’s efforts to carry out its mandate were appreciated as were the effort of countries who contributed soldiers and police to MISCA.
“The transfer from MISCA to MINUSCA will open a new chapter in the CAR. In close co-operation with ECCAS (Economic community of Central African States) and the spirit of partnership with the UN, the transfer will support the ongoing process of reconciliation, elections and the reform of the defence sector and security,” Chergui said.

ICG-CAR was constituted in May last year and this week’s meeting in Ethiopia was its fifth. Representatives from the AU, UN, CAR and ECCAS were again present to discuss co-ordinated regional, continental and international action to enable a lasting solution to the political, security and humanitarian situation in the CAR.

UN Under-Secretary General for peacekeeping, Ladsous, said: “Since March there has been some improvement in the situation as a result of the hard work of MISCA, the French-led Operation Sangaris and the European force EUFor-RCA.
“The task remains daunting and there is a real urgency for political dialogue to consolidate progress made by the CAR Transitional Authority. The coming months will be critical and Central Africans will need to redouble their efforts in addressing the challenges ahead.”

ECCAS Secretary-General Ahmad Allam-Mi said violence in CAR would only end when a strong, consensual political framework that could be shared by all stakeholders was in place.