2 January 2013

South Africa: Nation Is Concerned About the Situation in the Central African Republic

press release

Photo: IRIN
South African soldiers

South Africa is gravely concerned about the situation in the Central African Republic. As part of contributing to the efforts to bring about peace and stability in that country HE President Jacob Zuma deployed Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to go and assess the situation on 31 December 2012.

South Africa condemns the continued attacks on several towns perpetrated by the coalition of armed groups, which undermine the Libreville Comprehensive Peace Agreement and threaten the civilian population, as well as the stability of the Central African Republic.

We demand that the armed groups immediately cease hostilities, withdraw from captured cities and cease any further advances towards the city of Bangui. We call on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians and to respect human rights.

We call on all parties to seek a peaceful solution by engaging constructively in political dialogue. We welcomed the reaffirmation by CAR President Francois Bozize to work towards a negotiated solution to the current crisis in his country.

South Africa supports the efforts undertaken by the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS) to solve the crisis.

In this regard, President Jacob Zuma has held discussions with several leaders in that region. Accordingly South Africa welcomes the Final Communiqué of the Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State of the ECCAS, held in N'Djamena on 21 December 2012. We call on all the parties to abide by the decisions of the ECCAS Summit and to engage in good faith in the negotiations.

As a member of the African Union, South Africa rejects any attempt to seize power by force. We would therefore support sanctions and other measures against the perpetrators of any unconstitutional change of government and their total isolation.

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