1. The International Contact Group on the Central African Republic (ICG-CAR) held its 5th meeting, in Addis Ababa, on Monday 7 July 2014, under the joint chairmanship of Mr. Basile Ikouebe, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of the Congo, and Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union (AU). The list of countries and organizations which attended the meeting is indicated below .

2. The opening ceremony was marked by the statements made by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui; the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Hervé Ladsous; the Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Ambassador Ahmad Allam-Mi; the Prime Minister and Head of the Transitional Government of the CAR, Mr. Andre Nzapayeke; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration of the Republic of Chad, Chair of ECCAS, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat; and Minister Basile Ikouebe.

3. Participants considered the evolution of the situation in the CAR since the 4th meeting of the ICG-CAR held in Brazzaville, on 21 March 2014, on the basis of the statement made by the Prime Minister of the CAR, the presentations made by the Special Representatives of the AU, the UN and ECCAS in Bangui, on behalf of the Coordinating Group for the Preparation and Follow-Up to the Meetings of the ICG-CAR (G8-RCA), the interventions of the various international actors involved in the management of the crisis, as well as the ensuing discussions.

4. Participants noted the persistent fragility of the security situation in the CAR. They strongly condemned all acts of violence perpetrated by armed groups, particularly against the civilian populations, including the assassination, on 24 May 2014, of 3 Muslims in Bangui, followed by the attack on the Notre Dame de Fatima Church, on 28 May 2014, and the atrocities committed in the city of Bambari, at the end of the month of June 2014. They expressed alarm at the increase of violence against women, including rape. Participants noted with concern that the western part of the country is facing tension arising from clashes between armed groups vying for the control of local resources. They also noted the difficulties encountered in the implementation, by armed groups, of the confidence-building measures in the eastern part of the country. Participants noted, however, a significant improvement in the security situation in recent weeks, thanks to the action of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA), with the support of the French Operation Sangaris and of the Operation of the European Union in the CAR (EUFOR-RCA).

5. Participants reiterated their concern over the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis facing the CAR, noting that more than half of the population of the country is in need of humanitarian assistance. They reiterated their deep appreciation to the countries hosting refugees from the CAR, as well as to the countries and humanitarian organizations providing assistance to the affected populations. They noted with concern that, out of the US$ 565 million required to meet the humanitarian needs, only US$ 193 million had been mobilized to date.

6. Participants stressed the negative impact of the security situation on the economic activities, noting that growth, in 2013, had declined in real terms by 36 %. However, they noted a slight recovery in economic activity in Bangui, thanks to the efforts made to secure the corridor connecting Bangui to the Cameroonian border and the contributions from international partners. They expressed their appreciation to the latter for their economic and financial support.

7. Participants took note of the information provided by the CAR delegation on the implementation of the Roadmap for the Transition. They noted the efforts made for the reorganization of the Defence and Security Forces and the restoration of State authority. They also noted with satisfaction the initiatives taken by the Head of State of the Transition in order to inject the necessary momentum to the national reconciliation and political dialogue processes, with the involvement of all the CAR actors. Furthermore, they noted the efforts she has undertaken to mobilize the international community in favour of the CAR.

8. At the same time, Participants emphasized the slow progress in the implementation of the Roadmap, due to a multiplicity of factors. They stressed that the successful completion of the Transition within the agreed timelines requires much faster progress on the various aspects of the Roadmap, including the restoration of security and public order, as well as of the judicial administration, the preparation of the elections that will mark the end of the Transition, the reorganization of the Defence and Security Forces, the implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) processes, as well as the implementation of the required economic reforms.

9. In this regard, Participants strongly encouraged the CAR authorities to initiate the reorganization of the Defence and Security Forces, including the CAR Armed Forces (FACA), on the basis of the criteria that will be defined within the framework of the envisaged Inclusive Political Dialogue and in conformity with relevant international principles and, in the meantime, to work towards the operationalization of specific units, to facilitate the conduct of works of public interest. They called on the authorities to consider disarmament in a consensual manner, as a major political act resulting from an inclusive political dialogue. They recommended the establishment of a Truth and Justice Commission, to resolutely fight against impunity and promote reconciliation.

10. Participants urged the transitional authorities to accelerate the preparation of the elections scheduled in February 2015 to conclude the on-going transition and enable the restoration of constitutional order. They urged the international community to support these actions, including financially.

11. Considering the foregoing, Participants stressed the need for a greater commitment by the CAR political and social stakeholders, who must take full ownership of the ongoing process. Consequently, Participants called upon the CAR stakeholders to work resolutely towards national reconciliation and to refrain from all acts likely to further undermine national cohesion. In particular, they urged the ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka leaders to unequivocally appeal to their followers to put an immediate end to the attacks against the civilian populations and to all other acts of violence, and to refrain from substituting the security forces. They encouraged the transitional institutions to fully shoulder their responsibilities.

12. Participants reiterated the commitment of their respective organizations and countries to continue to support the efforts of the CAR authorities and stakeholders. In this regard, they welcomed the continued role of the region, as illustrated by the tripartite Angola-Chad-Republic of the Congo Summit, held in Luanda, on 9 June 2014, the Consultation among the ECCAS Heads of State and Government, held in Malabo, on 27 June 2014, in the margins of the 23rd ordinary summit of the AU, as well as the financial support that the countries of the region continue to extend to the CAR. They also welcomed the adoption, on 10 April 2014, by the Security Council, of resolution 2149(2014), authorizing the re-hatting of MISCA into a UN operation, and look forward to the transfer of authority from MISCA to MINUSCA, scheduled for 15 September 2014. They also expressed satisfaction at the financial assistance that the CAR bilateral and multilateral partners provided to help the recovery process of the country.

13. Participants had extensive exchange of views on the next steps in the political and reconciliation process in the CAR. On the basis of the conclusions of the Malabo Consultation of 27 June 2014, they endorsed the modalities for the resumption of the political dialogue and the reconciliation process as presented by the G8-RCA. In this regard, they agreed as follows:

(i) the convening, in Brazzaville, from 21 to 23 July 2014, of a Forum for National Reconciliation and Political Dialogue, under the auspices of the ECCAS Mediator in the CAR crisis, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo. This Forum is expected to agree on a total halt of violence, through the signing, by the parties concerned, of a cessation of hostilities agreement and the disarmament of the armed groups, as well as on a new political framework for the Transition;

(ii) the establishment by the CAR Government of a preparatory committee, tasked, in close consultation with the International Mediation referred to below and with the support of the G8-RCA, to prepare the Forum, including the aspects concerning participation in the Forum, which must be as inclusive as possible, taking into account the relevant decisions of the AU PSC and the UN Security Council;

(iii) the establishment of an International Mediation, under the authority of the ECCAS Mediator in the CAR crisis, President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo, and comprising AU and UN representatives as Deputy Mediators and the ECCAS General Secretariat as Rapporteur. The International Mediation shall also comprise the representatives of the ECCAS Member States, other members of the G8-RCA and the ICGLR;

(iv) the provision of the required expertise by the AU and the UN, as well as by other members of the international community;

(v) the immediate initiation of consultations between the ECCAS Mediator and the G8-RCA for the preparation of a budget and the completion of other aspects of the proposed Forum;

(vi) the appeal to the international community to contribute towards the funding of the Forum and of other follow-up activities.

14. Participants agreed that the Brazzaville Forum will be followed by other steps to be carried out in the CAR, to ensure the widest possible participation of the different segments of the CAR population and its ownership of the process, namely consultations to be organized in the various prefectures of the country and a larger Forum to be held in Bangui.

15. Participants urged all concerned CAR stakeholders to participate in the Brazzaville Forum in the required spirit of responsibility and compromise and to place the interest of the CAR and its people above partisan considerations, as well as narrow and short-term objectives. They reaffirmed their determination to hold the spoilers accountable for their acts, including through the imposition of sanctions against them, within the context of the relevant provisions of resolution 2134 (2014) of 28 January 2014 relating to the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council. In this regard, they welcomed the measures already taken by the United Nations Sanctions Committee.

16. Participants welcomed the remarkable work being done by MISCA, with the support of Operations Sangaris and EUFOR-RCA, in a particularly challenging environment. They expressed their appreciation to the troop and police contributing countries for their commitment and sacrifices made. They further expressed gratitude to all the countries and organizations that provided support to MISCA and urged them to continue their support.

17. Participants took note with satisfaction of the on-going transition process from MISCA to MINUSCA, and welcomed the smooth collaboration between the AU and the UN, to enable a successful transfer of authority. They appealed to the international partners to provide the necessary support to the concerned MISCA contingents to facilitate their effective participation in the implementation of the mandate of MINUSCA.

18. Participants urged the CAR authorities to accelerate the implementation of the reforms relating to economic and financial governance, in order to facilitate the mobilization of additional assistance. They requested the CAR bilateral and multilateral partners to continue and enhance their support, taking into account the specific situation of the CAR. Participants reiterated the appeal to the international community for the mobilization of the necessary humanitarian assistance.

19. Participants welcomed the establishment in Bangui of a Coordinating Group in charge of the Preparation and Follow-up of the Meetings of the ICG-CAR, called G8-RCA, in conformity with the Conclusions of the 4th meeting of the ICG-CAR.

20. Participants agreed to have the next meeting of the ICG-CAR convened in Bangui, in the CAR, in October 2014, at a date to be determined after consultations.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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