Swedish statement at the UN Security Council Briefing on MINUSCA
National statement delivered by Ambassador Irina Schoulgin Nyoni on behalf of Sweden at the United Nations Security Council Briefing on MINUSCA (Central African Republic), 21 June 2018, New York.
Thank you, Mr President,
I also thank Special Representative Onanga-Anyanga, African Union Special Representative Moussa Nebie, and the head of the European Union Training Mission, Brigadier-General Maio, for their informative and useful interventions today.
Let me start by reiterating our full support for MINUSCA; a mission that is carrying out its work in increasingly difficult circumstances. Since February, security incidents have resulted in the deaths of four peacekeepers. We express our profound condolences to their families for their loss. It is essential that attacks against peacekeepers are investigated and those responsible brought to justice. In this regard, we appreciate the cooperation of the Central African Republic authorities to ensure accountability for attacks.
In light of the fragile advances over the last two years, we are deeply worried by the deterioration in the security situation in recent months. This has been marked by persistent violence by armed groups, including in Bangui, and we strongly condemn attacks carried out against civilians, humanitarian personnel and peacekeepers. We are also deeply concerned by the erosion of trust between communities as well as the sectarian rhetoric that seek to divide societies and incite religious or ethnic hatred. Attempts by armed groups – not least the FPRC – and political actors to fan division and discord for political ends is reckless and worrisome.
We are also concerned by the high number of documented incidents of human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law. Impunity for acts of violence against civilians, including sexual and gender-based violence, cannot be tolerated.
Strong national leadership and communication is imperative at this juncture. The efforts of the government to ensure national unity continue to have our support. It is essential that the government, parliament and armed groups all demonstrate their commitment to national reconciliation and engage in dialogue.
We strongly support the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic, and welcome the conclusion of the second round of consultations. We hope that the African Union will continue to prioritize advancing the initiative. As it does so, it should fully use its mediation capacity, with active support from the UN, and ensure implementation of the Libreville roadmap.
We encourage countries in the region to step up coordinated efforts in support of the Central African Republic's government endeavours towards peace and stability. This includes support for the African Initiative as well as efforts to address cross-border challenges such as transhumance-related violence. The government's steps to reactivate bilateral joint commissions with a number of neighbouring countries is a welcome step in this direction.
An inclusive peace is a credible and sustainable peace. It is crucial that all segments of society – not least women and youth – are engaged in the political process, and that key stakeholders, beyond armed groups, are included. In parallel to the political process, it is necessary to enhance national reconciliation and transitional justice efforts in order to lay the ground for sustainable peace and stability.
The dire humanitarian situation in the country has been further exasperated by the clashes between armed groups and attacks against civilians. We urge all armed groups to fully commit to dialogue and cease all forms of violence. Efforts to respond to the needs of more than half the population now in need of humanitarian assistance must be stepped up.
We welcome the letter from the Secretary-General in May on recommendations on the type of support MINUSCA could provide for the progressive deployment of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) units trained or certified by the EU Training Mission.
It is important to ensure coordination between the United Nations and the EU Training Mission, in particular if MINUSCA is to provide enhanced planning and technical assistance to the Central African Armed Forces.
The Central African authorities must ensure that FACA is ethnically representative; geographically balanced; financially supported; and adhering to the rule of law and human rights standards. Furthermore, the deployment of armed forces is merely one part of the re-establishment of state authority throughout the country.
It must be quickly followed by the provision of basic services, in line with the National Strategy on the Restoration of State Authority. This requires not only sustained support from the international community but, crucially, political will and a sense of national ownership from the Central African authorities.
Thank you, Mr President.