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COMMUNIQUÉ

The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 826th meeting, at Ministerial level, held on 9 February 2019, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR):

 Council,

1- Takes note of the briefing made by the Chairperson of the Peace and Security Council for the month of February 2019, H.E Abdu Razzaq Guy KAMBOGO, Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, Regional Integration, Francophonie and the Gabonese Abroad, of the Gabonese Republic, as well as in his capacity as Chair of the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS). Council also takes note of  the presentation made by Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security, on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), as well as of the statements by H.E. Sylvie Baipo-Timon, Minister of the Foreign Affairs  of the CAR, and the Under Secretary General of the United Nations for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix;

 2- Recalls its previous decisions and pronouncements on the situation in the CAR and reaffirms its commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the CAR;
 
3- Welcomes the signing, on 6 February 2019, in Bangui, of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic, between the Government and the representatives of 14 armed groups, following the Direct Dialogue, held in Khartoum, The Sudan,  from 24 January to 5 February 2019.;
 
4- Stresses that the Agreement is a balanced compromise that takes into account the concerns of the various parties, respect for the territorial integrity and unity of the CAR, inclusive and representative governance that brings on board all the components of the Central African nation, bearing in mind the need for mutual tolerance and acceptance of their cultural and religious diversity. Council further stresses the interdependence and mutually reinforcing relations between peace, justice and reconciliation in efforts towards sustainable promotion of stability and greater national cohesion in CAR;
 
5- Expresses its appreciation to His Excellency Professor Faustin Archange Touadera, President of the CAR, for his leadership and vision, as well as to the leaders of the armed groups for their patriotism and commitment, which made it possible to successfully organise the Peace Talks, culminating in the signing of the Agreement. Council underscores that the Bangui Agreement constitutes a new opportunity for all the Central African actors to put an end to the long period of instability and violence suffered by the Central African people, as well as to restore peace, security and open a new chapter in CAR ;
 
6- Expresses its deep gratitude to His Excellency Omar Hassan El Bashir and the Government of the Republic of The Sudan for having hosted the Talks in Khartoum, as well as for the excellent working conditions made available. Council 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;
 
7- Congratulates the Facilitator of the Political Agreement, the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui and expresses its gratitude to the United Nations Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean- Pierre Lacroix, and the entire UN Team for their valuable support to the mediation.
 
8- Commends the efforts deployed by the Panel of Facilitators of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the CAR, whose prior sustained consultations with the parties made it possible to organize the Khartoum negotiations;
 
9- Stresses the pivotal responsibility of the Central African signatory parties for the implementation of the Bangui Agreement. Council urges the parties to demonstrate the same sense of responsibility in the scrupulous respect for their commitments under the Agreement, including by complying with the deadlines set out in the implementation timetable of the Agreement, particularly the immediate cessation of all armed activity and violence against the civilian population. Within this framework, Council calls upon the AU Member States, as well as bilateral and multilateral partners to provide the necessary support to the parties for the implementation, in good faith, of the Agreement;
 
10- Reiterates its deep concern at the humanitarian situation in CAR. In this respect, Council underlines the need for AU Member States and the international community to address adequately the urgent humanitarian needs of the Central African civilians affected by the conflict, in the framework of efforts aimed at creating conditions for the optimal implementation of the Peace Agreement;
 
11- Reaffirms its conviction that a sustainable solution to the instability in CAR also requires a long term economic and social recovery. In this context, Council underscores the need for adequate post-conflict reconstruction and development (PCRD) in CAR. To this end, Council notes that the rapid operationalization of the AU Cairo PCRD Center will enable it to contribute in efforts deployed by the CAR for its economic and social recovery. Council underlines the urgent need to expedite the mobilization of the financial contributions pledged during the Conference in Brussels, in November 2016;
 
12- Reiterates, once more, the importance for AU Member States and the larger international community to support efforts aimed at promoting peace, security and socio-economic recovery in CAR. In this respect, Council invites the Commission to work closely with the UN Peacebuilding Commission, in particular the CAR Configuration, chaired by the Kingdom of Morocco ;
 
 
13- Reiterates the readiness 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 to this end. Council stresses the determination of the AU to use various relevant instruments at its disposal, with the support of the countries of the Region and the larger international community, with a view to ensuring the implementation of the Agreement;
 
14- Reiterates its appreciation and support to the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) for its contribution to the peace efforts in the CAR and calls upon the United Nations Security Council to take the necessary measures to adapt the mandate of MINUSCA to the provisions of the Peace Agreement, particularly in its aspects related to security and the cessation of hostilities. Council underlines the need to ensure periodically that the parties are effectively implementing the Agreement. In this regard, Council envisages to undertake another visit to CAR, and if possible, jointly with the UN  Security Council;
 
15- Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to take the necessary steps to mobilise adequate support to assist in the implementation of the Political Agreement, particularly the establishment of the Implementation and Monitoring Mechanism (MOS) in security sector reform, cross-border cooperation and decentralisation;
 
16- Further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to take all necessary measures to transmit this Communiqué to the (A3) African Members of the UNSC, for appropriate action, as well as to the United Nations Secretary-General and its circulation to the United Nations Security Council, to ensure its support for the implementation of the Agreement;
 
17- Encourages the Government of the CAR and the neighbouring countries to reactivate the operations of their respective bilateral Joint Commissions with a view to promoting solutions to the common challenges, such as transhumance and the fight against cross-border crime;
 
18- Decides to carry out a quarterly review of the situation in the CAR and the implementation of the Political Agreement and requests the Commission to report to Council on the progress made;
 
19- Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Jonathan Doe
Last updated by SitroomCom

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