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‘Meaningful And Inclusive’ Dialogue Essential To End Upsurge In Clashes Across Central African Republic

The UN chief António Guterres on Wednesday said
continues to be “very concerned” about armed
clashes and the threat to civilian life across the Central
African Republic, where around 200,000 have
been displaced
by fighting in under two months.

a statement issued by his Spokesperson,
the Secretary-General said
he had been closely following the political situation,
including taking note of the final results of parliamentary
elections, issued by CAR’s Constitutional Court on

An alliance of armed groups, known as the
Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), launched attacks
ahead of the 27 December presidential vote, which saw
incumbent Faustin-Archange Touadéra, returned to power, on
4 January.

Assaults and ambushes have continued,
including against UN peacekeepers, seven of whom have been
killed in recent weeks.

According to reports, he
defeated more than a dozen other candidates with nearly 54
per cent of the vote. The upsurge in violence was triggered
by the rejection of former President Francois Bozize’s
effort in early December, to run again, prompting him to
join forces with the CPC.

‘Deep regret’ over
lives lost

“The Secretary-General remains very
concerned about recent armed clashes and threats to
civilians in the Central African Republic”, said the
statement. “He deeply regrets the loss of human lives, the
deterioration of the humanitarian situation, the forced
displacement of over 200,000 persons, and the increased
suffering of the population.”

The UN chief strongly
condemned continuing violence, and reiterated his call for a
in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,
“and urges all parties to immediately cease

“He reiterates that perpetrators of
grave violations of human rights and international
humanitarian law, as well as serious crimes, including the
killing of civilians and United Nations peacekeepers, must
be held accountable.”

Mr. Guterres urged the
Government of CAR to initiate a “meaningful and inclusive
political dialogue with the political opposition and armed
groups that have renounced violence, to de-escalate tensions
and revitalize the peace process.”

‘robust posture’

He reiterated that the nearly
15,000-strong MINUSCA
peacekeeping mission, would “maintain a robust posture to
implement its mandate” which crucially includes to
protection of civilians, allowing blue helmets to use force
to do so.

The UN chief reassured the people of CAR,
who have been subjected to decades of political upheaval and
humanitarian crisis, that they can count on the “steadfast
support” of the United Nations as they work to consolidate
peace and democracy, “in close cooperation with other

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