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I. INTRODUCTION

1. The present report is submitted in conformity with paragraph 32 of resolution 2127 (2013), adopted by the United Nations (UN) Security Council, on 5 December 2013. In that resolution, the Security Council requested the African Union (AU), in close coordination with the Secretary-General and other international organizations and bilateral partners involved in the crisis, to report to the Security Council every 60 days on the deployment and activities of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA). Within this framework, the Commission formally solicited contributions from France, under Sangaris operation, as well as the UN. On 6 February 2014, France sent the information requested, particularly with regard to coordination between Sangaris and MISCA.

2. The report covers the period from 19 December 2013 to the end of February 2014 and provides an update on major political, security, humanitarian and human rights developments in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the activities of MISCA, following the transfer of authority from the Mission of the Peace and Security Council of the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS) in the CAR (MICOPAX). The report concludes with observations on the way forward.

II. POLITICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS

3. The Security Council will recall that, following the unconstitutional change of Government that occurred on 24 March 2013 and on the basis of the ECCAS decisions, the CAR stakeholders agreed on a maximum transition period of 18 months, which will culminate in the organization of the presidential and legislative elections. On 5 July 2013, the Constitutional Charter of the Transition was adopted, before being promulgated on 18 July 2013. A National Transitional Council (CNT) of 135 members and a Constitutional Council were established on 15 April and 16 August 2013, respectively. Mr. Michel Djotodia was elected Head of State of the Transition, on 13 April 2013, and sworn in on 18 August 2013. Maitre Tiangaye Nicolas, who was appointed Prime Minister under the Libreville Agreements of 11 January 2013, retained his post. The elements of a Roadmap for the Transition, proposed by the 4th Extraordinary Summit of ECCAS, held in N'Djamena, on 18 April 2013, were accepted by the Transitional Government of National Unity, which in turn worked out a detailed Roadmap, which was adopted by the CNT on 7 November 2013. It should be noted that the law establishing the High Council of Communication (HCC) has not yet been promulgated.

4. Notwithstanding these efforts, the situation did not improve. With regards to the security situation, the abuses against the civilian population, both by the ex-Seleka and by other armed groups, continued. At the political level, there were several disagreements between the two heads of the Executive, who could not provide the necessary impetus to the transition process. As a result, no significant progress was made in the implementation of the Roadmap for the Transition, particularly regarding the primary objective of restoring security and public law and order in Bangui and the rest of the country. The humanitarian situation deteriorated considerably, especially in the wake of the deadly attacks launched, on 5 December 2013, in Bangui, by elements belonging to the group known as the anti- Balaka (anti-machetes, even if, in the urban area, the term is reported to be a contraction of the expression “anti-balles AK”).

5. In view of this situation, the AU Special Representative in the CAR and Head of the MISCA, General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, and the representative of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, ECCAS Mediator and Chairman of its Follow-up Committee on the CAR, in coordination with members of the international community in Bangui, took a number of initiatives to help the CAR actors to overcome their differences and implement the Roadmap of the Transition. The AU Special Representative held extensive consultations, in collaboration with the Group of Five (UN, European Union - EU, United States and France) and the Technical Follow-up Committee of the Libreville Agreements, as part of the efforts to bring the various leaders of the institutions of the Transition together. Similarly, he initiated consultations with several other Ambassadors, representatives of international organizations and Special Envoys dispatched to the CAR.

6. On 28 December 2013 a joint AU – ECCAS delegation, comprising the Foreign Ministers of the Republic of the Congo and Chad, the Minister of Defense of the Republic of the Congo and the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, visited Bangui. The delegation seized the opportunity to stress the need for cohesion and unity of action among all the actors of the Transition.

7. It is against this background, and given the continuing deterioration of the situation, that the 6th Extraordinary Summit of the ECCAS Heads of State and Government was held in N'Djamena on 9 and 10 January 2014, under the chairmanship of President Idriss Deby Itno, in his capacity as Chairman of ECCAS. The AU was represented at that meeting by a delegation led by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, and actively participated in the consultations which made it possible to reach agreement on the way forward. In the communiqué issued after its deliberations, the Summit deplored the passivity of the entire CAR political class and the lack of cohesion, harmony and unity among the authorities of the Transition, stressing that this situation had not allowed the international community to provide the necessary support towards a solution to the crisis. The Summit took note of the resignation of the Head of State and of the Prime Minister of the Transition, and called upon all the CAR political and social actors to continue their consultations to elect, as soon as possible, a new Head of State of the Transition and form a Transitional Government, in accordance with the provisions of the Transitional Constitutional Charter. In addition, the Summit urged the AU and ECCAS, in liaison with the CAR stakeholders and the relevant partners and under the auspices of the Mediator, to organize a National Reconciliation Conference.

8. On 20 January 2014, and following a two-round vote, Mrs. Catherine Samba-Panza, Mayor of the city of Bangui, was elected Head of State of the Transition, ending the interim period that was ensured, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Transitional Constitutional Charter, by the President of the CNT, Ferdinand Alexander Nguendet. The AU Special Representative worked actively with the Office of the CNT to help organize the election, particularly with respect to the definition of the eligibility criteria. He subsequently maintained consultations with the new Head of State of the Transition on the size of the Government to be established. In a communiqué issued on the same day, the Chairperson of the AU Commission welcomed this development and urged the CAR actors to provide the necessary support to the new Head of State in the discharge of her responsibilities. On 24 January 2014, the Head of State of the Transition appointed a Prime Minister, André Nzapayeke, who formed a cabinet of 20 members, including 7 women. The first cabinet meeting was held on 3 February 2014 and provided an opportunity for each Minister to present an engagement letter, which should be in line with the Transition Roadmap.

9. At its meeting of 29 January 2014, held at the level of Heads of State and Government, the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) considered the situation in the CAR. The PSC noted with satisfaction the decisions adopted by the ECCAS Extraordinary Summit, reaffirmed the leading role of the ECCAS Current Chairman and the Chairman of its Follow-up Committee in the political support to the Transition, and expressed its full support to their efforts. The PSC urged the international community as a whole, including the United Nations, to give all the necessary support to the efforts of the leaders of the region to facilitate an effective international action in support of the CAR. The PSC demanded that all the concerned CAR stakeholders, including the leaders of the ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka and of the regime of former President Francois Bozizé, unequivocally to call upon their followers to put an immediate end to the attacks against the civilians and any other action that might undermine the efforts to restore peace, security and stability in the CAR, as well as to promote reconciliation. The PSC requested the Commission to review and adjust, as necessary, the list of individuals targeted by sanctions, as annexed to its communiqué PSC/PR/COMM (CCCLXIII). The PSC also welcomed the decision of the Security Council to impose, for an initial period of one year, travel restrictions and freezing of assets on individuals and entities designated by the Sanctions Committee established by the Security Council in conformity with paragraph 57 of its resolution 2127(2013). The PSC requested the Commission and MISCA, as well as all Member States, to provide all the necessary support to the Panel to be established by the UN Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 59 of resolution 2127(2013.

10. For its part, the Technical Follow-up Committee of the Libreville Agreements, which includes the Group of Five, convened on 30 January 2014 to prepare a work plan to support the Government, in particular as regards the preparation of the electoral process, the restoration of State authority in the hinterland, and the activation of the financial institutions. In this regard, the redeployment of the civil administration, although hampered by insecurity, is underway, with the appointment of sub-prefects and the municipal councilors of the eight Bangui districts.

11. During the period under review, the AU Special Representative maintained close contact with the CAR actors and others stakeholders as part of AU’s support to the Transition. In this respect, and in concert with other members of the international community, he endeavored to defuse the tension between Mr. Djiotodia and Maitre Tiangaye, then Head of State and Prime Minister of the Transition, respectively following the publication of decrees dismissing three ministers and the General Paymaster, decrees which, in violation of the Constitutional Charter of the Transition, did not bear the countersignature of the Prime Minister. Similarly, and as pointed out above, he actively contributed, together with other members of the international community, to the preparations for the election of a new Head of State of the Transition, following the conclusions of the Extraordinary ECCAS Summit held in Ndjamena on 9 and 10 January 2014, including through the definition of the eligibility criteria. After the election, he held consultations with the new Head of State on the size of the Government that was to be established, in order to facilitate the mobilization of the necessary support from the international community.

12. Furthermore, the AU Special Representative also met with senior officials from partner countries and organizations who visited Bangui during the period under consideration. Among others, he held talks with the following personalities: Ms. Samantha Powell, Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations (19 December 2013); a UN delegation comprising the Assistant Secretary-General in charge of Political Affairs, Taye Brook Zerihoun, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflicts, Leila Zerrougui, and Nancy Bright, of the Office of the UN Special Representative in charge of issues of sexual violence committed during conflict (from 19 and 21 December 2013); Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister of Defence (2 January and 12 February 2014); the Chief of Staff of the French Army, General Bertrand Ract-Madoux (24 December 2013 and 6 February 2014); and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres (12 February 2014). To all his interlocutors, he presented the situation obtaining on the ground and the political and other efforts being exerted by the AU and exchanged views with them on the best ways and means of ensuring a more sustained international action in support of MISCA.

III. ACTIVITIES IN CONNECTION WITH ELECTIONS

13. Regarding the preparation for the electoral process, it should be noted that the 7 members of the National Elections Authority (ANE), appointed by decree on 16 December 2013, were sworn in on 24 December 2013, marking the launch of the operationalization of this structure. Since then, the members of the ANE have worked towards making the premises allocated functional, and adopting their Rules of Procedure. The United Nations, particularly the UNDP, has sent experts to assess the needs and prepare budget estimates for the ANE. Other partners, including the EU and France, have pledged financial contributions. MISCA ensures the security of the ANE premises, as well as escorting members of this structure when traveling in Bangui and throughout the country.

14. The ANE, with logistical support from the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the CAR (BINUCA) and the security support of MISCA, visited the prefectures in the interior of the country from 14 to 27 January 2014, with the aim of assessing the resources available for the forthcoming elections. In addition, an electoral needs assessment team was sent by the United Nations during January-February 2014. Similarly, the AU Commission intends to recruit an electoral expert to support the ANE. The latter will serve as the interface between MISCA and the ANE to identify ways through which the AU will continue to support the ANE and the entire electoral process. From 17 to 21 February 2014, the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs visited Bangui, to assess the state of preparedness for the elections, and the ways and means for a more sustained support to the electoral process by the AU.

IV. ESTABLISHMENT AND DEPLOYMENT OF MISCA

15. As part of the efforts to address the security challenges facing the CAR, ECCAS and the AU agreed to increase the strength of MICOPAX and transform it into an African Mission. In pursuance of these efforts, on 19 July 2013, the AU PSC authorized the deployment of MISCA to contribute to the protection of civilians and the stabilization of the country. On 5 December 2013, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2127 (2013), in which it endorsed the deployment of MISCA for a period of 12 months, to contribute to:

(i) the protection of civilians and the restoration of security and public order, through the use of appropriate measures;

(ii) the stabilization of the country and the restoration of State authority over the whole territory of the country;

(iii) the creation of conditions conducive to the provision of humanitarian assistance to populations in need;

(iv) the DDR or DDRRR process led by the transitional authorities and coordinated by BINUCA; and

(v) national and international efforts to reform and restructure the defense and security sectors led by the transitional authorities and coordinated by BINUCA.

16. In the meantime, on 22 November 2013, and after consultation with ECCAS, the Chairperson of the AU Commission appointed General Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko of the Republic of the Congo, then Deputy High Representative of the AU for Mali and the Sahel, as Special Representative and Head of the MISCA. Brigadier-General Martin Tumenta Chomu of Cameroon was appointed as Force Commander, while Gendarmerie Colonel Patrice Ostag Bengone of Gabon was appointed Head of the Police component. General Kararuza Athanasius of Burundi was appointed Deputy Force Commander. Consultations are underway for the appointment of the Deputy Police Commissioner, while the announcement of the appointment of the Deputy Special Representative is expected to be made shortly.

17. In the period that followed, and pursuant to the relevant communiqués of the PSC, the Commission and the ECCAS General Secretariat intensified their consultations to ensure a successful handover between MICOPAX and MISCA. This consultation process began immediately after the PSC decision of 19 July 2013, mandating the deployment of MISCA. In this context, several meetings were held, including in Addis Ababa, from 2 to 3 September and from 7 to 10 October 2013, to finalize the Implementation Concept of the MISCA Strategic Concept and its Logistics Support Concept, in cooperation with all stakeholders, including the UN. Given the importance of continued cooperation between the AU and ECCAS for the success of MISCA, on 7 December 2013 both organizations concluded an agreement on the deployment of the operation. This agreement covers such aspects as force generation, the establishment of the Mission Headquarters, the deployment of contingents, coordination and monitoring, the legal framework for capacity contributions to MISCA, and resource mobilization and logistical support. On 5 December 2013, the Commissioner for Peace and Security and the CAR Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and of Central Africans Abroad signed the Agreement on the Status of MISCA.

18. In its resolution 2127 (2013), the Security Council, having welcomed the consultations held between the AU Commission and countries of the region and the support provided by the UN and Member States, to finalize all aspects of the modalities of the transition from MICOPAX to MISCA, requested the AU and ECCAS to ensure that the transfer of authority between MICOPAX and MISCA takes effect on 19 December 2013. The transfer of authority between MICOPAX and MISCA took place on 19 December 2013, at a ceremony chaired by Mr. Nicolas Tiangaye, then Prime Minister of the Transitional Government of National Unity, in the presence of several other CAR personalities and representatives of the international community, including the United Nations.

19. In response to the deteriorating security situation in the country in early December 2013, the Heads of State of the region, the AU, represented by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, and international partners held consultations in Paris, on 7 December 2013, immediately following the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa, held from 6 and 7 December 2013. On 13 December 2013, the PSC decided to authorize a temporary increase in the strength of MISCA, which could include up to six thousand (6,000) uniformed personnel, with the understanding that this increase will be reviewed within a period of three (3) months, in the light of changing circumstances and needs on the ground and on the basis of a report to be submitted by the Chairperson of the Commission.

20. The Commission immediately took the necessary measures to strengthen MISCA. It was in this context that the deployment, already agreed upon, of a Burundian battalion of 850 men, was accelerated and completed between 12 and 20 December 2013, thanks to the support of the United States. Between 16 and 28 January 2014, also with the support of the United States, a Rwandese mechanized battalion of 850 troops was deployed. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) deployed a battalion of 836 troops, whose integration modalities into MISCA were agreed upon during a mission that the Commission dispatched to Kinshasa from 16 to 19 February 2014. The military strength of MISCA currently stands at 5,401 troops, comprised as follows: Burundi (850), Cameroon (515), Republic of the Congo (863), DRC (836), Gabon (490), Equatorial Guinea (202), Chad (814) and Rwanda (850). Regarding the police component, it has a total strength of 640 personnel, provided by Cameroon (320), the Republic of the Congo (136), Chad (34), the DRC (149) and Gabon (1). MISCA also has a Joint Operations Centre (JOC), with a strength of 9 personnel: civilian (3), military (4), police (2). The substantive civilian component of MISCA currently stands at 34 elements. The staffing process of the Force and Police Headquarters is underway. In the meantime, these functions are performed by the re-hatted MICOPAX staff.

21. Following the transfer of authority, MISCA adopted a sectorisation plan of the capital, Bangui, into eight districts. Thus the 1st , 2nd, 3rd and 6th districts were assigned to the Burundian contingent, while the 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th districts were placed under the responsibility of the Rwandese contingent. These contingents operate jointly with the MISCA Formed Police Units (FPU). The sectorisation of the Bangui was done in line with the administrative division of the city. A total of 1,902 military and 640 police personnel are deployed in Bangui. Other contingents, numbering 3,518 soldiers, are deployed across the country as follows: Sector 1, with a Command Post (CP) at Bouar (515); Sector 2, with a CP at Bossangoa (795); Sector 3, with a CP at Boali (863); Sector 4, with a CP at Sibut (490); and Sector 5, with a CP at Mobaye (836). These sectors correspond to the following administrative areas: Sector 1: Ouham Pende Nana Mambere and Mambere Kadei; Sector 2: Ouham-Nana Grebizi, Bamingui-Bangoran Vakaga; Sector 3: Ombela Mpoko , Lobaye and Sanga Mbaere; Sector 4: Ouaka and Kemo; and Sector 5 : High Koto, Bass Koto, Mbomou and Haut Mbomou.


V. COORDINATION WITH SANGARIS AND THE RCI-LRA AND SUPPORT TO MISCA

22. On the ground, MISCA cooperates closely with the French operation Sangaris. This cooperation is called for in the relevant provisions of the PSC communiqué of 13 November 2013, in which the PSC welcomed the proposed strengthening of the French contingent in the CAR, to better support MISCA, and encouraged the Commission to work for effective operational coordination between the MISCA and the French forces. The cooperation is also called for in paragraphs 49 and 50 of resolution 2127 (2013). To facilitate this coordination, MISCA and Sangaris established cooperation mechanisms at the level of both the MISCA Headquarters and that of the Burundian and Rwandese battalions. The Commanders of MISCA and the Sangaris operation meet regularly and intelligence is shared between the two Headquarters. The two forces regularly carry out joint patrols both in Bangui and in the provinces and jointly plan the conduct of specific operations.

23. In its communiqués of 13 November and 13 December 2013, the PSC also requested MISCA to coordinate the implementation of its mandate with the contingent of the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord's Resistance Army (RCI-LRA), deployed, under AU mandate, in the Obo Sector, in the prefecture of Haut Mbomou. Arrangements are being made for the deployment of Liaison Officers from the RCI-LRA to MISCA, and vice versa.

24. MISCA receives technical and financial support from several partners. The Sangaris operation and the United States have seconded officers to MISCA. In addition, Sangaris provides medical support to MISCA, including treatment of injured personnel by the Level 2 hospital established by France, the supply of pharmaceutical products and Medevac support, through the use of utility helicopters during joint operations. The UN has deployed technical experts. On the financial side, several countries and organizations assist MISCA. At the Pledging Conference organized by the AU, with the support of the United Nations, about US$ 314 million dollars, corresponding to contributions in cash and in kind, was mobilized from the following countries and institutions: South Africa, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, United States, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Japan, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Norway, ECCAS and the EU – the contribution of the latter constitutes a substantive part of the financial resources mobilized to date – and the United States, which provides direct logistical support in terms of strategic airlift and communication. Algeria pledged to provide strategic airlift.

VI. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MANDATE OF MISCA

25. Since its deployment, MISCA has carried out a number of activities in pursuance of its mandate, as determined by the UN Security Council. The Implementation Concept of the MISCA Strategic Concept, developed jointly with ECCAS and with the active support of the United Nations, the EU and bilateral partners, including the United States and France, provided for a three-phase operation: first, ensuring security in Bangui and the corridor connecting the CAR to the Cameroon border; then, strengthening the Mission’s presence in the West; and, finally, deploying the Mission to the East. Considering the context in which MISCA took over from MICOPAX, the schedule of operations had to be adjusted to enable the concurrent implementation of the different phases, while maintaining a strong imprint in Bangui. The activities contributing to the attainment of the Mission’s end state, as articulated in its Strategic Concept, are as follows:

(i) Protection of civilians and restoration of security and public order

26. In order to ensure adequate protection of civilians, MISCA established a specific arrangement for Bangui, based on the sectorisation of the city. The contingents and FPUs that are deployed in the city conduct regular patrols, both motorized and on foot. These patrols are carried out day and night. In so doing, the objective is to ensure an effective presence not only on the main roads, but also within the different areas. The CAR police and gendarmerie will join the patrols as soon as the current restructuring of these forces has been completed.

27. Furthermore, following consultations with Mrs. Catherine Samba- Panza, then Mayor of Bangui, and subsequent discussions with the district Mayors, measures were taken to facilitate interaction with the civilian population, as part of the efforts to ensure improved security in the city. Thus MISCA established static positions in each of the districts of Bangui. Similarly, the cell phones numbers of these different posts were provided to the local population via radio and other means, to enable them to alert MISCA as necessary, so that it could intervene timeously. This system has proved effective, particularly in the 5th district, where there is a high concentration of Muslims, including those who fled from other districts of Bangui. It should be noted that the 5th district is the economic heart of the capital. During the period under consideration, MISCA received thousands of calls from people in Bangui, and the Mission was able to intervene on many occasions.

28. The purpose of this arrangement is to deter and prevent attacks against civilians, looting and other crimes. It has also made it possible to intervene, if necessary by force, to put an end to activities that disrupt public order and endanger civilians. MISCA has saved many lives, stopped many looters and prevented the destruction of homes, public and religious buildings, and property. This occurred particularly with regard to the protection of the homes of Government officials and mosques, especially in the 3rd district.

29. The deployment of MISCA elsewhere in the country has also contributed to the protection of the civilian population and the restoration of security and public order. The actions taken in this context include regular patrols, the arrest of armed individuals or those committing crimes and the protection of civilian property. Among other examples, in Bossangoa, in response to threats that anti-Balaka elements posed to the Muslim population, from 23 January 2014, MISCA deployed elements of the Chadian contingent to ensure the safety of the concerned civilians. On 16 February 2014, MISCA, at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Fund for Population (UNFPA), protected a convoy of 28 women and 119 children who were going from Féré to Sibut. In general, MISCA protects various IDP camps inside the country.

30. The efforts to protect the civilian population are extended to foreigners whose Governments decided to evacuate, in light of the deteriorating security situation, following the incidents in early December 2013. Thus MISCA escorted nationals of Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Chad, who wanted to return their respective countries. Sometimes this support was provided on request and at other times, MISCA itself took the initiative to protect civilian foreigners in danger. Within the framework of the regular convoy escorts along the corridor that connects Bangui with the Cameroon border, the MISCA units have, on several occasions, ensured the protection of foreigners attempting to leave the CAR.

(ii) Stabilization of the country and restoration of State authority

31. The action of MISCA, with regard to this aspect of its mandate, includes several aspects. First, MISCA provides security to the leaders of the Transition, including the Head of State, the Prime Minister and other members of the Government, the President of the CNT and, at her request, Mrs. Catherine Samba-Panza, at the time when she was the Mayor of Bangui. This protection is necessary for the performance of their duties by officials of Transition and the speedy reactivation of the State apparatus.

32. Second, MISCA protects many public buildings and other sensitive strategic points. The hotspots in the capital (the presidential palace, ministry buildings, radio and national television, banks, telecommunications companies, hotels and restaurants, shops, etc.) are fully under the protection of the Mission. MISCA also protects the Bangui prison since its reopening on 14 February 2014. In this regard, and thanks to the vigilance of the Rwandese contingent of MISCA, on 23 February 2014, the Mission foiled an escape attempt by the anti- Balaka leaders who were arrested by MISCA during an operation carried out on 15 February 2014 in the district of Boye-Rabe in Bangui. In total, about 700 soldiers and police officers are assigned to these tasks of static protection. This arrangement, which has the disadvantage of tying down a significant number of troops, nonetheless is essential in the current phase, given the limited capacity of the CAR security forces. The gradual stabilization of the situation will enable MISCA to reduce the need for static protection and ensure a more dynamic presence in neighborhoods of and outside Bangui.

33. MISCA also provides security for specific events. From 19 to 23 January 2014, MISCA ensured the security for the inauguration of the Head of State of the Transition. MISCA also took precautionary measures to prevent possible negative reactions to decisions taken at the Ndjamena Summit held on 9 and 10 January 2014 likely to disturb public order.

34. Furthermore, MISCA helps protect the administrative authorities outside Bangui, as part of the extension of State authority. In this context, and following the appointment of the sub-prefects and their assumption of office, MISCA made the necessary arrangements for their transportation to their duty stations and their security once there, as in the case for the Prefect of Bossangoa, Ouham. The extension of State authority also involves the recovery of areas previously occupied by armed groups. The operation in Sibut, at the end of January 2014, is emblematic in this regard. It is to be recalled that the city of Sibut was attacked on 28 and 29 January 2014, with the influx of ex-Seleka elements from surrounding areas. The latter broke into the city and demanded the departure of the reduced company of the Gabonese contingent of MISCA, calling for secession. The MISCA force was reconstituted from Bangui, and retook Sibut 48 hours later, thanks to an operation involving three companies of Burundian, Gabonese and Rwandese troops, supported by a Rwandese rapid reaction force and by Sangaris. MISCA has since established a permanent and strengthened presence in the area.
35. Fourth, the stabilization of the country also requires the physical disarmament of armed groups to allow for a gradual return to normalcy. In furtherance of this aspect of its mandate, between 11 and 16 January 2014, MISCA conducted an accelerated disarmament operation of ex-Seleka elements in charge of guarding the presidential palace or Palace of the Renaissance, as well as of those at the National Broadcasting and Television. These elements, initially grouped at the Roux Camp, where the former Head of State of the Transition lived, were subsequently transferred to the RDOT camp, after a systematic search in application of the Confidence-Building Measures, signed on 5 December 2013 by MICOPAX and Sangaris. On 8 February 2014, the ex-Seleka elements at the camp Kassai, also in Bangui, were disarmed. MISCA collected all heavy weapons that were in possession of these elements before cantoning them, under the protection of the Mission, at Camp RDOT, in Bangui. Initially, and thanks to the assistance provided by ECCAS, MISCA was able to bear the expenses for food and other related needs of these elements. Since then, other partners have taken over the support for those elements, who live in difficult conditions and have expressed a willingness to participate in the DDR process. It is important that the international community give the necessary attention to this issue.

36. Given that some ex-Seleka elements have escaped the disarmament operation, in some cases moving to the North-East with weapons and ammunition, MISCA took specific measures to deal with this situation. Several disarmament operations, including by force when necessary, were carried out inside the country. This was the case in Sibut, Kaga – Bandoro, Bozoum, Bouar and Paoua Baiki. Other elements of the ex-Seleka, who are in the North and Northwest provinces, are awaiting their cantonment by MISCA, before being eligible for DDR operations.

37. These disarmament operations also involve the anti-Balaka and other armed elements. In Bangui, these operations are carried out regularly. It is in this context that a major operation was conducted by MISCA, in cooperation with Sangaris, in the district of Boye-Rabe, on 15 February 2014, resulting in the seizure of several weapons and large quantities of ammunition and other military equipment. Along the corridor that connects the CAR with the Cameroon border, several disarmament operations have also been conducted, especially during escort and protection of trucks and other vehicles using this corridor. In Bossangoa, MISCA also carried out the disarmament of anti-Balaka elements terrorizing the local Muslim population.

38. Finally, support for the restoration of State authority also includes the control by the Transitional Government of its sources of income. In this respect, the actions of MISCA have focused on the removal, if necessary by force, of illegal roadblocks placed by gunmen along the corridor connecting the CAR to the Cameroon border, and securing this vital corridor for the economy of the CAR. Indeed, the insecurity that prevailed along this route and the illegal exactions operated by armed gangs had the effect of significantly reducing the traffic along the corridor, depriving the Government of customs and other taxes that would be levied on goods and other consignments entering the CAR. Since 18 January 2014, MISCA has set up an escort arrangement for trucks traveling along the corridor. It operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from the Cameroon border towards Bangui, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Bangui to the Cameroon border. To date, more than 1,000 trucks have been escorted, in both directions, including for UN agencies, NGOs, Sangaris, traders, and other actors.

39. At the same time, MISCA has encouraged the CAR Government to establish a system for collection of customs and other duties, through a single centre in Douala, Cameroon. Such a system would also ensure transparency in the management of financial resources and increase the revenue the Government desperately needs to carry out its basic functions. Similarly, the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission has recommended to the Prime Minister to initiate discussions with the Cameroonian authorities to agree on modalities for the speedy clearance, at the Douala Port, of consignments destined to the CAR via the corridor secured by MISCA.

(iii) Establishment of conditions conducive to humanitarian assistance to populations in need

40. By restoring security across the CAR territory, with the support of the Sangaris operation, MISCA has created conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need. More specifically, and as part of the efforts to ensure security along the corridor that connects Bangui to the Cameroonian border, MISCA has escorted dozens of trucks belonging to the World Food Programme (WFP) and dozen others belonging to NGOs carrying humanitarian assistance to crisis-affected populations in the CAR. It should be noted here that, on 27 January 2014, the Deputy Coordinator of WFP emergency operations in the CAR sent a letter to the MISCA Force Commander, expressing the gratitude of his institution for the rapid intervention of MISCA and the protection given to WFP convoys. In this regard, and after MISCA learnt, through the press, that the WFP had resorted to costly air operations to deliver humanitarian assistance in the CAR, on the ground that the route was very unreliable, the Mission reaffirmed that the corridor had been completely secured, that it committed itself to protect all humanitarian convoys to the CAR and that the limited resources available should rather be used to help the affected CAR populations.

41. Moreover, the facilitation of humanitarian assistance entails the protection of IDP sites and other places of refuge where vulnerable populations come to spend the night. A shelter of refuge, called "Sanctuary of Hope", was launched on 12 February 2014 in the 5th district of Bangui, to provide night-time accommodation to all those who feel threatened. The security of the site is also provided by MISCA.

42. Finally, MISCA facilitates the movement of humanitarian aid agencies throughout the country. During the period under consideration, MISCA provided protection to many humanitarian agencies, as well as visiting dignitaries.

(iv) Support for the national and international efforts for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration or disarmament demobilization, reintegration or resettlement or repatriation and reform and/or restructuring of the defense and security sectors

43. In accordance with its mandate, MISCA supports the two national initiatives on DDR and Security Sector Reform (SSR), coordinated by BINUCA. To this end, two national coordination frameworks, in the form of "committees", were established to better channel and harmonize efforts in these areas at both the strategic and technical levels. These coordination frameworks, which had been suspended as a result of the deteriorating security situation, were reactivated upon the establishment of MISCA.
44. In addition, one month prior to the formal establishment of MISCA, the DDR Technical Committee had validated an overall strategy, the development of which the AU had contributed to. This strategy lays the foundation for the overall framework of the DDR process and takes into account all armed groups, including self-defense groups, in a process geared towards community reintegration and repatriation of foreign combatants. This strategy is being revised to adapt it to the relevant provisions of UN Security Council resolution 2134 (2014), in particular, to take into account the new dynamics and the emergence and/or the strengthening of certain armed groups which had not been adequately addressed before.

45. Meanwhile, the Confidence-Building Measures, agreed to on 5 December 2013 by MICOPAX and the Sangaris operation, had an impact on the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) process, in that they contributed to: (i) the reversal of the military balance of power, which became increasingly conducive to the DDR process, (ii) the gradual neutralization of armed groups, whose activities are expected to be increasingly limited, and (iii) the gradual stabilization of the security situation, which would make possible the conduct of activities in the field. Although non-binding, the “Confidence-building Measures” have had a positive impact on the security situation in major cities, and have made it possible to canton 7140 ex-Seleka elements in 14 sites around Bangui, which were to be reduced to 3 or 4 sites. Although at this stage of the cantonment, the ex-Seleka elements have retained their small arms and ammunition for their own safety, subject to funding, a second phase should allow for a more organized cantonment, which would facilitate the identification, as well as the census and profiling of the concerned elements, their total disarmament and the provision of temporary care until the launch of appropriate programmes. To this end, MISCA has contributed to the development of a pilot cantonment project.

46. Simultaneously, efforts by MISCA have also been aimed at promoting national consensus on issues of DDR and SSR. This work culminated, on 6 January 2014, in the signing, by the Prime Minister and the Head of State of the Transition, of the General Guidelines No. 001. The Guidelines constitute a great opportunity as they articulate a common and consensual vision, supported by the national authorities, concerning the DDR and SSR during the transition period.

47. Similarly, in order to initiate discussions on the format of forces and their restructuring, an appeal for a census of the CAR Armed Forces (FACA), the Gendarmerie and the National Police was made between 23 and 31 December 2013. According to the national authorities, this 3,538 FACA out of 8,434, 1,085 out of 2,226 gendarmes and 900 policemen out of 1,500 were identified. The next steps should lead to a more effective control of the census through the establishment of a computerized, single, centralized system that will make it possible to create a usable database. In this regard, MISCA has requested UNDP’s support in order to enable the Mission to support the registration of the elements of the defense and security forces.

48. In the light of the evolution of the situation, the DDR and SSR processes should be considered concurrently. Indeed, the interim SSR, which is that of the transitional period, will have to focus on the gradual and selective integration of the ex-Seleka elements into the defense and security forces. Following this selection phase, on the basis of criteria and a background check to be agreed upon consensually, the demobilization and reintegration into civilian life of those former Seleka elements who have not been selected will take place. In parallel, a dialogue process should be initiated with self-defense and militia groups, including anti-Balaka, who should neither be grouped nor cantoned, but rather dismantled and reintegrated into society. In addition, during the transition period, the FACA should be maintained in their barracks, while resources provided to the police and the gendarmerie should be increased substantially to ensure security and public order in support of MISCA. The judicial system should also be strengthened to enable the effective functioning of the criminal justice system. The support of international partners is critical to ensure the success of this process.

VII. EVOLUTION OF THE SECURITY SITUATION

49. The deployment of MISCA took place in a deteriorating security environment, marked by the consequences of the attack by the anti-Balaka group at the beginning of December 2013. The period was characterized by clashes between anti- Balaka and ex-Seleka elements, and sometimes between individuals and families, on communal and religious bases. Many crimes have been committed. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes and sought refuge in other areas of the city of Bangui considered safer, especially around the airport. This resurgence of communal violence and insecurity kept the capital city and the MISCA troops on high alert, until the end of December 2013. The first half of January 2014 was relatively calm, before the situation worsened, particularly in Bangui, in the second half of January 2014. Since the beginning of February 2014, the situation has improved significantly, in Bangui and in the interior of the country.

50. While insecurity affected the whole of the capital, Bangui, particular neighborhoods were especially affected. Such was the case in the neighborhoods of Gobongo and Combatants, in the 8th district, Boy Rabe and Miskine, in the 6th district, Boeing and Castor, in the 3rd and 2nd districts, respectively. During the last week of January 2014, more than 30 cases of abuse were reported in these areas. The corridor from PK12 (North of the town) to PK9 (South West) was the area most affected by armed conflicts between ex-Seleka and anti- Balaka elements. About 20 cases were reported in this area during the same period.

51. The situation in the countryside was mixed: calm in the Centre and North-East, and more tense in the West and North-West, particularly in Beloko, Bouar Bozoum Bossangoa, where antagonism between anti-Balaka and ex-Seleka, in the second half of December 2013, resulted in forced displacement. Several incidents have subsequently been noted in different places. On 17 January 2014, the Muslim community of the city of Boali suffered an attack that resulted in up to ten deaths and several injuries, primarily from rudimentary weapons. Acts of massive looting also occurred. On 28 and 29 January 2014, the city of Sibut was attacked, with the massive influx of of ex-Seleka elements from the surrounding areas. As indicated above, these elements entered the city and expressed their determination to secede, demanding the departure of a small company of the Gabonese contingent of MISCA. These elements committed several abuses, particularly the killings of people considered to be close to the anti-Balaka group, as well as the destruction and looting of property. Several other areas suffered similar abuses. On 5 February 2014, in the town of Amou, located in the prefecture of Kemo, abuses, act of killings, looting and theft were committed by the ex-Seleka against the population. On the same day, in N'Zakoune, located about 10 km from Bang in the region Ouham Pende, an attack by the ex-Seleka elements killed 22 people, including 16 women and 6 men. Several houses were burnt. Another attack by ex-Seleka elements in the locality of Dakol, also in the region of Ouham Pende, occurred on 5 February 2014, killing 3 people, including the director of the school and 2 students.

52. On the main corridor linking Bangui to the border with Cameroon, the situation was initially characterized by the persistence of illegal checkpoints (approximately 22). The most belligerent elements were stationed in the localities of Yaloké, Baoro and Bossammtélé, controlled by ex-Seleka, who illegally collected taxes and carried out exactions from people and road users under the threat of armed violence. This impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid and supplies to Bangui and other parts of the country, while at the same time depriving the Government of the resources needed to restart the administrative and State machinery.

53. This situation stemmed from several factors. To start with, it was difficult to clearly define the opposition forces, even though the last Ndjamena Summit shed more light on the identification of the leaders of some anti-Balaka groups, thus facilitating efforts to hold them accountable. Most armed or self-defense groups on the whole territory do not appear to have any identifiable command and control. In the wake of the election of the new Head of State of the Transition, ex-Seleka elements were confined, and some were disarmed by MISCA. During the second half of January 2014, with the reversal of the balance of power, violence resumed, characterized by numerous attacks against Muslim communities.

54. Another factor relates to the situation of ex-FACA who vanished, taking with them their arms and ammunition. Some of these elements have joined the anti- Balaka. Of course, since then, efforts have been made to regroup the FACA, but the issue of discipline and professionalism remains of concern. Following a ceremony organized by the Head of State of the Transition to celebrate the rebirth of the national army, on 5 February 2014, at the National School of Administration and Magistracy (ENAM) in Bangui, a soldier, suspected by his comrades to have worked with Seleka soldiers, was lynched. This incident, which took place after the international forces had left the scene, slowed the process of the return to the army of elements who had left the ranks. It should be noted here that the MISCA had to intervene to protect General Abdel Kader, Deputy Chief of Staff, whose safety was threatened.

55. A final factor which contributed to the deterioration of the security situation relates to the difficulties that the previous transitional Government had experienced in the implementation of the security aspects of the Transition Roadmap. In its first phase, the Roadmap provided for a rapid restructuring of the CAR security forces, so as to enable them to contribute towards ensuring security in Bangui and policing, through joint patrols with MISCA elements.

56. As mentioned above, since the beginning of February 2014, the situation has gradually and significantly improved. These gains stem from several factors: the sectorisation of Bangui and the provinces, the strengthening of MISCA, and coordination with Sangaris.

57. In Bangui, there are clear signs of gradual return to normal life. The number of security incidents has dropped dramatically. The curfew, which was in effect from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 am, was shortened to 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 am. Schools have begun to reopen and the University of Bangui resumed operations on 24 February 2014, with the administration having returned to its premises since 8 January 2014. Economic activity is also gradually picking up, even if it has been seriously affected by the exodus of Muslim traders. Incidents do continue to occur, as evidenced by the killing of three Muslims in Bangui, on 22 February 2014, in the “Combattants” area, as well as many other incidents. Most of the current difficulties faced in the security situation relate to criminal acts rather than clashes between opposing political and military groups.

58. Even if serious cases of violence continue to be recorded, the situation is also improving in the provinces, thanks to the enhanced presence of MISCA and the operations it is carrying out, in cooperation with the Sangaris operation. The number of assassinations, cases of intimidation and other abuses, as well as requests to relocate to other places, have decreased. Nothing illustrates this development better than the security provided by MISCA along the corridor that connects Bangui to the Cameroon border. This enables the humanitarian, trade and other convoys to use this route.

VIII. HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

59. The already difficult humanitarian situation deteriorated further, following the violent clashes of 5 December 2013. As of 18 February 2014, there were an estimated 698,500 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the CAR territory. In Bangui, there are 273,500 IDPs, spread over 66 sites and in hosting communities, 60% of whom are children. A total of 65,119 foreign nationals have left for their countries of origin, while 250,230 CAR nationals have sought refuge in the countries of the sub-region. Nearly 2 million CAR nationals live in a state of vulnerability and are in need of emergency food aid. Living conditions and hygiene in the IDP camps are deplorable. This situation of extreme vulnerability has led to an increase in the number of children suffering from severe malnutrition, from 1,000 to 28,000. Other diseases such as malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhea are also indicated on the sites. Only 56 % of sites are covered by health services.

60. The improvement of the security situation in Bangui since the beginning of February 2014, has created favorable conditions for the voluntary return of IDPs to their homes. The site at the Bangui International Airport now has 70,000 IDPs at night, down from 100,000, a few weeks ago. More than 80 % of the IDPs hosted at this site intend to return home. The tendency to return home of the IDPs is observed in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th districts and Bimbo, in Bangui. Four sites in Bangui, namely Saint Paul-Community of Sisters, St. Paul Seminary, St. Paul High School and Camp Pi XII FOMAC/Saint Paul, are no longer hosting displaced persons (IDPs).

61. The needs of IDPs and vulnerable groups are considerable. A Donors Conference for the CAR, held in Brussels, on 20 January 2014, promised to mobilize U.S. $ 500 million for humanitarian assistance. To date, only 14% of that amount has been mobilized.

62. Since taking office, the AU Special Representative has undertaken consultations with the municipal authorities of the city of Bangui, as well as with humanitarian actors, to assess the humanitarian situation in the city and facilitate a concerted, coordinated and sustainable solution to the problem of the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the IDP sites, particularly that of the airport. MISCA teams are regularly deployed at the IDP sites in Bangui and elsewhere in the country, to meet IDPs and local communities, in order to better assess the needs and enhance the advocacy role of the Mission. On the occasion of a visit to the CAR, from 17 to 21 February 2014, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Dr. Aisha L. Abdullahi and the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, Valerie Amos, travelled to Bossangoa, where they visited IDP sites.


IX. HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION

63. Since 4 January 2014, the AU Commission has deployed an initial team of five human rights observers, within the civilian component of the MISCA, to enable the Mission to investigate and better document violations of human rights, within the framework of overall efforts to fight impunity. A further five observers are expected to be deployed soon. In implementation of their mandates, these observers have had regular meetings with the CAR authorities, civil society organizations, international organizations and other stakeholders. They have also undertaken field visits in different parts of the CAR territory.

64. It has emerged from these meetings and field visits that serious violations of human rights have been committed with impunity. Many cases of rape, particularly gang rape, forced marriages, sexual slavery, and physical abuse of women and girls have been committed. The victims have identified their tormentors as both ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka elements. In Bangui, for example, in January 2014, MISCA documented 251 cases of rape, affecting 224 adult females, one adult male and 26 other persons under 18 years. In the localities of Batangafo (sub-prefecture of Ouham), Borno town (4km from Bossangoa in the north – western CAR), Dangbatro (village located 7 km from the town of Bria, capital of the Prefecture of Haute Kotto, in the centre-east of the CAR) and Kabo (one of 5 sub- prefectures of Ouham in the Northwest), several cases of rape were also listed. There have been consistent reports of recruitment and use of children by various armed groups, including ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka, in violation of relevant international legal instruments.

65. Various violations by both anti-Balaka and ex-Seleka have been reported, involving summary executions, assassinations, lynching, persecution and abductions. Thus, in Bangui, on 25 December 2013, a mass grave of 30 bodies was identified at the place called the "Panthers Hill" (located at about 300 meters from Camp de Roux). A second mass grave of 13 bodies was also found by MISCA forces on 9 February 2014 at the Support and Service Battalion, previously occupied by the ex-Seleka and currently the site of their cantonment.

66. Numerous violations of human rights have also been committed throughout the country. In the city of Boali, Prefecture Ombella M'poko, between 1 and 2 December 2013, a camp populated mainly by Muslim Fulanis was the subject of an attack by unidentified armed elements. The attack resulted in 13 dead, as well as the destruction of property (houses and cattle). In retaliation, many people of Christian denomination were killed by Muslim armed elements. Thus, on 4 December 2013, a Boali traditional chief, named Zangato, was killed in his field, along with his three sons, by people who were, according to testimonies, associated with ex-Seleka and other Muslim individuals. On the same day, a certain Mr. Simon Anzibe, commonly known as "Z", was killed by a group of people armed with arrows, guns and daggers, under the pretext that he belonged to the anti-Balaka. On 17 January 2014, following the dismantling of the armed group along the Bangui-Garoua-Boulaye corridor and the departure of former Seleka groups, the anti- Balaka led an attack against the Muslim community in Boali. This attack resulted in the killing of six (6) people. Following this attack, the human rights component of the MISCA visited Boali, on 24 January 2014. It was able to see two mass graves, containing a total of 35 bodies and three individual graves. These two pits and two tombs are located near a checkpoint that was held by the former Seleka, at the northern end of the town of Boali, while the other tomb is located in the adjoining forest dam of Boali. Various accounts attribute the killings to the ex-Seleka and the anti-Balaka.

67. In the towns of Berberati (West, in the Prefecture of Mambéré-Kadeï) Bouar (West in the Prefecture of Nana- Mambéré) Bozoum (North-West, in the Prefecture of Ouham-Pende) Bossangoa (North-West, in the prefecture of Ouham) and Sibut (Centre, in the Prefecture of Kemo), information gathered indicate the occurrence of several murders, summary executions and acts of torture affecting both the Christian and Muslim populations.

68. Numerous acts of looting and destruction of property were also noted. This is the case in Bangui, particularly in neighborhoods PK12, Km 5, Miskine, fled by the Muslim population, leaving behind all their belongings. Many cases of looting and destruction of public property have also been noted. One of the serious consequences of the crisis is the almost inaccessibility to justice. The lack of administrations of police, justice and prison helps to accentuate impunity.

69. If the human rights situation remains particularly worrying, some improvement has nonetheless been evident. This improvement is due to the efforts by MISCA forces, supported by Sangaris, to provide security. The reopening of the main Ngaragba prison is also a positive development.

70. At its meeting held on 29 January 2014, at the level of Heads of State and Government, the PSC welcomed the establishment, on 22 January 2014, of an International Commission of Inquiry to shed light on the violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law in the CAR since 1 January 2013, and requested MISCA to provide the necessary support to that Commission. The PSC also welcomed the deployment, by the Commission, of an initial group of human rights observers within MISCA and requested the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to take all necessary measures to contribute to the promotion of human rights in the CAR and to submit to it a specific report.

X. OBSERVATIONS

71. In recent months, the CAR has experienced extreme violence, which has seriously affected its social fabric, resulted in severe polarization and led to the collapse of the national economy and of the remnants of the State structures. The humanitarian situation is particularly alarming, and is marked by massive displacement of persons, both CAR nationals and foreigners, and large-scale violations of human rights have taken place. The situation does not only pose a serious threat to the future of the CAR, but also to regional security and stability. Even if the acts of violence that occurred in the CAR targeted specific communities, the conflict cannot be reduced to a religious war. Rather It is the result of a combination of specific political and social factors related to the history of the CAR, as well as to the violent episodes in recent months and their political exploitation by certain political actors.

72. In view of the marked deterioration of the situation that occurred in the month of December 2013, the AU and ECCAS, with the support of the rest of the international community, have stepped up their efforts to address the situation. The resolve and determination of the ECCAS leaders, particularly the current Chairman of this organization and the Chairman of the Follow-up Committee on the CAR, Presidents Idriss Deby Itno of Chad and Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo, are to be commended. The support of ECCAS has been multifaceted. It includes both political and financial support, with the latter through the payment of salaries to the CAR civil servants. In particular, the decisions of the ECCAS Extraordinary Summit of January 2014 helped boost the Transition and opened new prospects for the country. The political role of the region is more crucial than ever before to ensure the success of the efforts to stabilize the situation in the CAR. Therefore, it is important that the international community, particularly the UN, continues to support the efforts of the region.

73. Although the security situation is still volatile and alarming, it has undoubtedly begun to evolve in a positive direction. The number of incidents has decreased significantly both in Bangui and in the rest of the country, and life gradually has begun to return to normalcy. The international community, including the United Nations, should take note of these developments and welcome them. Obviously, more still needs to be done because the challenges that lie ahead are many and daunting, as illustrated by the attacks against civilians and other crimes that continue to be committed on the CAR territory. No effort should be spared in this regard.

74. This positive development is the result of the re-launching of the Transition following the Ndjamena Extraordinary Summit and the action taken on the ground by MISCA and the Sangaris operation. Building on the work of MICOPAX, MISCA has made efforts to effectively implement its mandate. The results obtained in a very short period of time have been achieved at a great cost. Nearly twenty members of MISCA have lost their lives in the performance of their duties. Over one hundred others were wounded. It is only fitting to pay tribute to them and their countries for the sacrifices made in the service of peace, security and stability in the CAR.

75. The successes of MISCA were made possible, thanks to the support of international bilateral and multilateral partners. The AU thanks all the partners that have provided support to MISCA, in particular the EU, France and the United States, including the financial and/or logistical and technical support, which was crucial for the deployment of MISCA and the conduct of its operations. The gratitude of the AU also goes to the other international partners and the AU Member States which have provided support or committed themselves to support the MISCA. The AU is also grateful to the United Nations for its technical support.

76. The results obtained are particularly significant as they were achieved in particularly difficult circumstances and with limited resources. Despite the support of several international partners, the Mission still lacks adequate communication and mobility, and its funding is also insufficient. There is therefore an urgent need for the international community to mobilize itself further to support MISCA, through the provision of additional financial and logistical resources and, as required, technical expertise, as well as through the provision of support in other specific areas. Such support will enable the Mission to carry out its mandate successfully, including, as necessary, the increase of its strength, in order to create conditions conducive to the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation. It is clear that the success of a UN peacekeeping operation will depend largely on the success of the action of MISCA and that of the Sangaris operation.

77. By deploying MISCA, the AU has, from the outset, envisaged the transformation, at the appropriate time, of this Mission into a UN peacekeeping operation, building on the lessons of past experiences. Indeed, after the initial stabilization phase that MISCA and Sangaris operation are currently engaged in, it is necessary to enhance the involvement of the international community in favour of the CAR, including through a UN peacekeeping operation, to help in the organization of the elections and to carry out other crucial tasks for the long-term stabilization of the country. As stated in the letter of the Chairperson of the Commission to the UN Secretary-General, dated 17 February 2014, a copy of which is attached for ease of reference, MISCA, with the support of the Sangaris operation, expects to complete the initial stabilization phase of the situation within 6 to 9 months. In this context, the AU calls for the establishment of a logistical support package, financed by UN-assessed contributions. By enhancing the predictability of the support to MISCA, the UN will enable the AU to transfer to it a strong and responsive Mission, thereby allowing the UN to focus on the actions necessary for the long-term stabilization of the CAR.

78. As indicated earlier, the deployment of a UN operation to take over from the AU should be seen as part of an overall and greater international engagement. Such engagement must be based on a judicious division of labor among all concerned international actors: ECCAS, the AU, the UN and other key actors, including bilateral partners and international financial institutions. A lasting solution to the crisis in the CAR requires the contribution of all, based on the comparative advantages of the various actors. Such an approach is all the more necessary as the challenges facing the CAR extend beyond security: they also have dimensions related to political and socio-economic aspects, reconstruction of the State and promotion of reconciliation in a context where the social fabric has been severely undermined by the violence that rocked the country.

79. Indeed, beyond the security dimension, the international community should focus on addressing the most urgent socio-economic problems, including the payment of salaries, the restoration of basic services and support to the reconstruction of the State. This action should also aim at combating impunity and promoting reconciliation. From this viewpoint, the speedy designation of individuals and entities undermining the peace efforts in the CAR, in order to put in place the sanctions provided for in UN Security Council resolution 2127(2013), is very important. Equally important is the work expected from the International Commission of Inquiry, established on 22 January 2014, to investigate the violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law since 1 January 2013. In conformity with the communiqué adopted at its meeting on 22 January 2014, MISCA is ready to give all the necessary support to the work of the bodies in charge of these two issues. The AU is convinced that speedy action in these two fields will send a clear message to spoilers and to the CAR political actors involved in inciting violence and hatred. At the same time, the AU and ECCAS, in consultation with the CAR authorities should speed up the preparations for the convening of Reconciliation Conference mandated by the ECCAS Summit held in N’Djamena on 9 and 10 January 2014.

80. Following the transfer of authority to a UN peacekeeping operation, the AU and ECCAS must continue to play a crucial role in the political and other fields alongside the UN and other international partners. These include the political support to the Transition and coordination of international efforts through the International Contact Group on the CAR (ICG-CAR), co-chaired by the AU Commission and the Republic of the Congo, in its capacity as the country chairing the ECCAS Follow-up Committee on the CAR. It is essential that this role be highlighted in any resolution authorizing the transformation of MISCA into a UN operation and is strongly supported by the UN Security Council. From this point of view, it is important that the draft resolution to be prepared for this purpose be the subject of close consultations between the AU and the UN.

81. Important as it is, international solidarity alone will not be able to overcome the serious difficulties faced by the CAR. The CAR political and other stakeholders have a crucial role to play. There can be no lasting solution without national ownership and CAR leadership. The proposed UN operation must be designed and conducted on the basis of this principle. The international community cannot replace the CAR actors. Its role is to accompany and support them.

82. Consequently, it is crucial that the CAR actors place the supreme interests of their country above partisan and other considerations. They must seize the unique opportunity offered by the ECCAS Summit of 9 and 10 January 2013 successfully to carry out the Transition and end the terrible suffering endured by their people. In this respect, the election of Mrs. Catherine Samba-Panza as Head of State of the Transition, the appointment of a new Prime Minister, and the subsequent formation of a new Government, are encouraging signs. But more is still required from them. They should learn from the trajectory of their country since independence and the cycle of instability which has deprived their people the benefits of development and democracy. They should work to heal the numerous wounds caused by the violence over the past months and promote sincerely reconciliation among all the components of society. They should understand that the solution to the problems faced by their country is in their hands and that no external entity can substitute them.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

Last updated by Marsden Momanyi

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