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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 422nd meeting held on 7 March 2014, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR):

Council,

1.    Takes note of the Information Note [PSC/PR/2.(CDXXII)] on the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the CAR, submitted pursuant to paragraph 48 of resolution 2127 (2013) adopted by the UN Security Council, on 5 December 2013. Council also notes the introductory remarks made ??by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, as well as the briefing provided by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission and Head of the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA) on the activities of MISCA and the situation on the ground. Council finally takes note of the statements made ??by the representatives of the following countries and organizations: Chad, Rwanda, South Africa, France, United States of America, United Kingdom, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU);

2.    Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in the CAR, including communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.2(CDXVI) adopted at its 416th meeting held on 29 January 2014;

3.    Notes with satisfaction the steps taken by the Commission to enable MISCA to reach its authorized strength of 6,000 uniformed personnel, as well as the execution within a timeframe shorter than the one initially planned of the Mission’s Implementation Concept, with a presence not only in Bangui, but also in different areas in the countryside;

4.    Welcomes the significant improvement in the security situation in the CAR, thanks to the action being carried out by MISCA with the support of the French operation Sangaris. In this regard, Council notes with satisfaction the significant reduction in the number of security incidents, the gradual resumption of daily activities in Bangui and in the rest of the country, the steps taken to secure the corridor connecting the CAR to the Cameroon border, as well as the steps taken by MISCA for the disarmament of illegal groups and the protection of civilian populations, the monitoring of the humanitarian and human rights situation, and political support for the ongoing transition. Council pays tribute to the leadership and staff of MISCA for their commitment and the sacrifices made;

5.    Reiterates its gratitude to the troop and police contributing countries, as well as to the leaders of the region, including the Presidents Idriss Deby Itno and Denis Sassou-Nguesso, Chair of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and Chair of the ECCAS Follow-up Committee on the CAR, respectively, as well as to the ECCAS General Secretariat and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), for their continued commitment to peace, security and stability in the CAR. Council also reiterates its appreciation to the Member States that have contributed resources in support of MISCA, as well as to the partner countries and organizations whose support is crucial for the continued deployment and sustenance of MISCA. Council expresses its gratitude to countries of the region for receiving Central African refugees;

6.    Welcomes the close cooperation between MISCA and Sangaris towards the stabilization of the situation in the CAR, and looks forward to an effective coordination between the Mission and the planned EU operation in the CAR;

7.    Recognizes that, despite the improvement recorded, the situation remains worrying in certain areas and that the ongoing efforts should be pursued with renewed vigor to enhance civilian protection, complete the neutralization of armed groups, create more conducive conditions for the accelerated return of displaced persons, and continue to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all populations in need. To this end, and in view of the challenges at hand and the need to expedite the completion of the initial stabilization phase of the situation, Council authorizes an increase in the strength of MISCA to allow the deployment of four additional formed police units of 140 personnel each and specialized capabilities in the areas of medical support, signal, engineering and transportation within the limit of 350 military personnel;

8.    Recalls that the aim of the deployment of MISCA is to facilitate the initial stabilization phase of the situation, in order to pave the way for a broader and more sustained international engagement. In this context, Council welcomes the envisaged UN peacekeeping operation, which would consolidate the achievements made by MISCA, with the support of Sangaris, facilitate the long-term stabilization of the CAR and support efforts to address the root causes of the recurring crises in the CAR, as contained in the report of the UN Secretary-General, with the prospect of a transfer of authority by 15 September 2014, it being understood that such date should be subject to confirmation by a joint AU-UN mission;

9.    Endorses the observations made by the Commission in its Information Note, in particular with respect to the elements that should inform the transformation of MISCA into a UN peacekeeping operation, as articulated in paragraph 20 of the Information Note. In this respect, Council:

(i)    encourages the UN Security Council, in view of the envisaged transformation of MISCA into a UN peacekeeping operation, to ensure that the resolution that will authorize such transformation would highlight the importance of CAR ownership of the peace efforts and the supportive role of the UN operation, which should be part of a greater and more sustained international engagement in favor of the CAR;

(ii)    stresses the need for such a resolution to recognize and fully support the role of the region, particularly through the action of the Chairman of ECCAS and the Chairman of its Follow-up Committee on the CAR, and that of the AU, in support of the peace efforts in the CAR, including the transition and support to other aspects of the stabilization process of the country, as well as the coordination of international efforts through the International Contact Group on the CAR;

(iii)    stresses the importance of close consultation with the AU and the region in the process of drafting the resolution that will authorize the transformation of MISCA into a UN peacekeeping operation, and expresses the desire that an African member of the Security Council would be a co-penholder of the draft resolution, in accordance with communiqué PSC/AHG/COM/(CCCXCVII) adopted at its 397th meeting held on 21st September 2013, requesting greater involvement of African members of the Security Council in the drafting of the documents of this organ relating to African issues;

(iv)    further stresses the need for close cooperation between the AU and the UN throughout the transformation process of MISCA into a UN peacekeeping operation; and

(v)    requests the Security Council to authorize, in the meantime, the establishment of a UN logistical support package funded through assessed contributions to enable MISCA more effectively discharge its mandate;

10.    Reiterates its appeal towards the mobilization of adequate humanitarian support for the population affected by the crisis in the CAR. Council also reiterates its support to the early designation of individuals and entities that undermine peace and reconciliation efforts in the CAR, with a view to paving the way to the imposition of the sanctions provided for in resolution 2127 (2013), as well as to the work of the International Commission of Inquiry into the violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law in the CAR since 1st January 2013, in accordance with its communiqué of 29 January 2014;

11.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Messay

Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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