The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 936th meeting, held on 10 July 2020, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR):

The Peace and Security Council, 

Taking note of the opening remarks made by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Burundi to the AU, in his capacity as the PSC Chairperson for the month of July 2020, H.E. Ambassador Joel Nkurabagaya, and the briefing made by AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, on the situation in the CAR and the statement by Ambassador Hermann Immongault, Permanent Representative of Gabon to the African Union, in his capacity as the representative of the Chairperson of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS);

Recalling its previous decisions on the situation in the CAR, including, Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.1 (DCCCXLIVIII)], adopted at its 848th meeting held on 9 May 2019, and Press Statement [PSC/PR/BR.1 (DCCCLXXXIV] adopted at its 884th meeting, held on 10 October 2019;

Expressing its solidarity with the Government and people of the CAR and all African countries regarding the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and encouraging AU Member States and the international community to support the efforts being deployed by the CAR Government in the fight against the pandemic;

Reaffirming the solidarity of the AU with the Government and the people of the CAR in their aspirations to implement the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic (PAPR-CAR), that will enable them to make progress in their efforts towards restoration of peace and security and fostering democratic transformation of the country; and also reaffirming its commitment for the respect of the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the CAR; and

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the ‘Situation in Central African Republic and the AU Peace Support Operations’ as well as the ‘Concept Note of the African Union Military Observers Mission to the Central African Republic (MOUACA)’;

2. Underscores the need to continue monitoring the implementation of the Peace Agreement by all the signatories, the Government and the representatives of the 14 armed groups, signed on 6 February 2019, and create the legal and administrative institutions; and emphasizes the need to adhere to the PAPR provisions relating to the cessation of hostilities throughout the territory of the CAR;

3. Welcomes the positive developments in the country, in particular, the decrease in violence and the redeployment, and effective presence of  State administration throughout the country since the signing of the PAPR-RCA; commends the National Assembly for adopting the laws as required under the Agreement, including on political parties and the status of the opposition; the creation of the Commission on Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation; the status of former Heads of State; and the first of a two-part law on local authorities and decentralization;

4. Also commends the commitment of H.E. President Faustin Archange Touadéra and his Government, as well as the political actors for their efforts to organize and conduct the upcoming elections in accordance with the electoral calendar; further commends the launch of the voters’ registration exercise by the National Election Authority on 30 June 2020 in Bangui, and encourages the Government to expedite the extension of voters’ registration throughout the country;

5. Acknowledges the progress made so far in the Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) of former armed groups combatants in North-eastern military zone of the country and urges all other armed groups to fully adhere to the national DDR programme;

6. Expresses deep concerns over the recurrent ethnic conflicts and the signalled presence of foreign fighters within the ranks of the belligerents; condemns the recent attacks by some armed groups, against Government forces and United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) convoys, humanitarian agencies and civilians; in this regard, requests the Government of CAR, together with the MINUSCA and representatives of the two guarantors of the Political Agreement, the AU and ECCAS, to conduct an investigation with a view to establish the facts and causes of those attacks; and warns that the perpetrators of these attacks shall be brought to justice;

7. Urges all Central African stakeholders and state institutions to expedite the adoption of the revised organic law of the National Election Authority and calls upon them to build consensus around its composition, organisation and functioning;

8. Notes with satisfaction the recent deployment of Joint Special Security Units (USMS) in Paoua, following intensive training, which will enable the components of these Units to protect the people and transhumance networks in the CAR;

9. Welcomes the steps taken by the AU Commission, with close cooperation of the Government of CAR, on the deployment and operationalization of the Joint Special Security Units (USMS), and authorizes the deployment of the African Union Military Observers Mission to Central African Republic (MOUACA) as provided within the Concept of Operations adopted;

10.  Reiterates the continued commitment of the AU to spare no effort in supporting the parties to honour their commitments under the Agreement and to mobilise the necessary support from its various partners and the larger international community, with a view to ensuring the implementation of the Agreement;

11.  Pays tribute to the leaders of the countries of the region and the ECCAS, for their resolute support to the CAR in the search for a lasting solution to the conflict that has been tearing apart this country for so long; and commends the Facilitator of the Political Agreement, the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui and the United Nations Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell and the entire UN Team for their tireless effort in the support of the implementation of the PAPR-CAR; and encourages them to continue their close coordination on addressing issues pertaining to the implementation of the Agreement;

12.  Underscores the importance of continued cooperation between the Government of the CAR and the Governments of neighbouring countries, including in relation to the security of the common borders with a view to contributing towards improving the security situation in the country and sustaining the implementation of the Agreement;

13.  Highlights the importance of supporting the socio-economic recovery needs of the CAR and the positive impact thereto in consolidating the peace gains and improving the standard of life of citizens, and appeals to the international organizations and partners to step up their technical and financial support to the implementation of developmental endeavours in the country;

14.  Endorses the Peace Support Operations in the CAR for the period from 1 September 2020 to 31 October 2022, in accordance with the thrust in the “Report on the situation in the Central African Republic and the Peace Support Operation”, in line with the implementation of the PAPR; and in this context, requests the  AU Commission to provide regular reports, at least every three months, on the implementation of this Agreement, to enable Council to take the necessary decisions as the circumstances on the ground may demand;

15.  Appeals to AU Member States, the bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as the rest of the international community to provide the necessary support to the parties for the implementation, in good faith, of the Peace Agreement, especially for the holding of December 2020 elections within the constitutional deadline;

16.  Also appeals to AU Member States, particularly the neighboring countries of the CAR and the entire Central African region, to continue to provide assistance, to the CAR; and further appeals to the international community to also continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the internally displaced populations and victims of recurrent ethnic and inter armed groups violence;

17.  Pays tribute to the MINUSCA, ECCAS and the EU for their continued support to stabilize the CAR and the main State institutions, as well as for their significant contributions towards the implementation of the PAPR; and

18. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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Peace and Security council
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