The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) until 31 January 2014, with a strong emphasis on restoring security to that country seeking to recover from the ruins of decades of instability, as well as a recent month-long crisis during which rebel groups had advanced on the capital before being halted by a ceasefire and other agreements.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2088 (2013), the Council welcomed the signature in Libreville on 11 January of the declaration of principle, the ceasefire and political agreements on the resolution of the crisis, and called on the Government, "Seleka" Coalition, armed groups and democratic opposition to abide by their commitments. It requested BINUCA to work with the parties to facilitate the full implementation of the Libreville agreements.
As it condemned the military attacks by armed groups and attempts to destabilize the peacebuilding process in that country, the Council expressed its strong concern at the still-extremely precarious security situation and called on the Government to implement a credible and viable security sector reform.
It demanded that all armed groups cooperate with the Government in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants, of the view that the "long delay" in implementing those processes was partly responsible for the ongoing crisis. It meanwhile welcomed the efforts of the Mission for the consolidation of peace and called on countries in the subregion and regional and subregional organizations to consider measures to improve security.
The 15-member body strongly condemned ongoing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including the recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming of civilians, rape and sexual slavery and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence and abductions.
In that connection, it called on all parties to identify and release forcefully recruited persons, especially children, from their ranks without delay, and issue clear orders regarding sexual violence, and it requested BINUCA to report on those human rights abuses and other violations, and demanded that all armed groups prevent the recruitment and use of children.
The Council underscored the Government's primary responsibility to maintain law and order, promote security and protect civilians, including foreign nationals, and urged it to ensure full respect for freedom of assembly and expression, including for the opposition parties, as well as the rule of law. It called on all parties to refrain from inciting hatred and violence and urged the opposition parties and other groups, as well as the Government, to engage in a constructive dialogue to allow equal chances in the run-up to the electoral cycle.
It requested BINUCA to continue to support the peacebuilding processes, as provided in its current mandate, as well as to support the efforts of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
Following the resolution's adoption, the country's Permanent Representative, Charles-Armel Doubane, said his country had become more fragile from the sad and painful events that began on 10 December 2012. He hoped discussions this year would lay the groundwork for peace and dialogue for the people of his country who, despite their differences and diversity, formed the rich cultural mosaic that was its hallmark. The decisions made in Libreville were for the people; all that remained was the political will to move words to deeds. The national unity government was being formed, and it would have no alternative but to move in that direction. Priorities were cementing the peace, restructuring the security forces, and, among others, preparing for the upcoming elections.
However, he said, the scope of the damage was immense, and everyone in the Central African Republic had the hard task ahead of reconstructing a State. No doubt, the international community, in all its configurations, would support the nation in its quest for peace and development. He thanked all bilateral and multilateral partners, and non-governmental organizations, as the country "seeks its rebirth". The extension of BINUCA's mandate was, in his view, justified and it formed a partnership with which the Government would continue to work harmoniously. The country had suffered greatly during recurring conflict, which had severely compromised efforts towards growth and development. It wished to turn that sad page in history, and he asked for all to give his country a chance and the means with which to do so.
For its consideration of the situation today, the Council had before the latest report of the Secretary-General, dated 21 December 2012 (document S/2012/956).
The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:14 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2088 (2013) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions and statements concerning the Central African Republic, especially resolution 2031 and its press statements of 19 December 2012, 27 December 2012, 4 January 2013 and 11 January 2013,
"Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Central African Republic, and recalling the importance of the principles good-neighbourliness and regional cooperation,
"Noting the signature by the CPJP to the 2008 Libreville Comprehensive Peace Agreement on 25 August 2012,
"Condemning military attacks by armed groups and attempts to destabilize the peace building process in the Central African Republic,
"Expressing concern at the lack of State authority outside the capital, which has led to a serious security vacuum in many parts of the Central African Republic and has allowed the emergence and development of national and foreign armed groups, including the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) to operate in the CAR,
"Commending the swift efforts made by Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS), by the African Union and the countries in the region to solve the political and security crisis, and welcoming the negotiations held in Libreville 8-11 January 2013 under the auspices of ECCAS,
"Welcoming the signature in Libreville of the declaration of principle, the cease-fire agreement and the political agreement on the resolution of the crisis on 11 January 2013,
"Acknowledging the role played by the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) under the leadership of UN Secretary-General Special Representative Margaret Aderinsola Vogt, and by the United Nations Country Team, and welcoming their dedicated efforts, in particular regarding assistance as requested by ECCAS during the negotiations in Libreville,
"Acknowledging the emergence of a consensus on the revised electoral code, and looking forward to its formalisation and full implementation,
"Looking forward to the start of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration activities in the north-east of the country,
"Recalling its resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), and 1960 (2010), on women, peace and security and its resolutions 1612 (2005), 1882 (2009), 1998 (2011) and 2068 (2012) on children and armed conflict, recalling the conclusions of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, including inter alia the adoption of action plans to put an end to the recruitment and use of children by armed groups, including by self-defence militias, calling on the parties in Central African Republic to engage with the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict, and also recalling resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006), 1738 (2006), 1894 (2009) on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts,
"Emphasizing that inclusive political dialogue, respect of the rule of law, democratic governance, participation of women in peacebuilding, respect for human rights, justice, accountability and economic development, are necessary for a lasting peace in the Central African Republic,
"Encouraging stakeholders, including the Peacebuilding Commission, to assist in addressing peacebuilding challenges in the country and looking forward to the rapid appointment of a new Chair for the Central African Republic Country specific configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission,
"Acknowledging the useful contribution of the Peacebuilding Fund to peacebuilding in the Central African Republic,
"Welcoming the first visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sexual Violence in Conflict in Central African Republic to support the national efforts to address this issue,
"Having considered the report (S/2012/956) of the Secretary-General on the situation in the Central African Republic and on the activities of BINUCA,
"1. Decides to extend the mandate of BINUCA until 31 January 2014;
"2. Requests the Secretary-General to provide a report, no later than 31 March 2013 on the situation on the ground and an assessment regarding how BINUCA can further implement its priorities in light of recent events; expresses its intention to consider this assessment in the following weeks;
"3. Further requests the Secretary-General to provide an update report of the situation on the ground by 30 June 2013 and every six months thereafter;
"4. Calls on the Government, "Seleka" Coalition, armed groups and democratic opposition to abide in good faith by their commitments in the Declaration of principle signed in Libreville on 11 January 2013;
"5. Calls for the expeditious and full implementation of the ceasefire signed between the Government and "Seleka" Coalition, and of the political agreement on the resolution of the crisis signed between the presidential majority, the democratic opposition, the armed groups, the "Seleka" Coalition, the President of the follow-up Committee and ECCAS; and in this regard, welcomes the appointment of a representative of the opposition as the Prime Minister of the government of National Unity;
"6. Requests that BINUCA continue to support the peacebuilding processes in the Central African Republic, as provided in its current mandate, including the DDR and SSR processes, support the efforts of ECCAS in this regard; and use its good offices to work with all parties to facilitate the full implementation of agreements signed in Libreville on 11 January 2013; calls upon international community to provide further support to peacebuilding process in Central African Republic;
"7. Underlines the important role of the bodies in charge of following up the implementation of these agreements;
"8. Expresses strong concern at the security situation in the Central African Republic, which remains extremely precarious, welcomes in this regard the continued efforts of MICOPAX in support of durable peace and security in the Central African Republic, and calls on countries in the Central African subregion, and regional and subregional organizations to consider, upon request of the Central African Republic, appropriate measures to improve the security situation in the Central African Republic and the subregion;
"9. Calls on all parties, in particular "Seleka", to allow safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need as quickly as possible and to ensure the protection of civilians against any violence;
"10. Underscores the primary responsibility of the Government of the Central African Republic to maintain law and order, promote security and protect the civilian population, including foreign nationals, with full respect for the rule of law, human rights, and applicable international humanitarian law, stresses the importance of the work of bilateral partners to enhance the capacity of the Central African Republic Armed Forces and stresses that such assistance should be in support of the SSR process;
"11. Urges the Government of the Central African Republic to ensure that freedom of expression and assembly, including for the opposition parties, as well as the rule of law are fully respected; calls upon all parties to refrain from the incitement of hatred and violence; and urges the opposition parties, other groups, and the Government to engage in a constructive dialogue to establish an environment allowing equal chances in the run-up to the next electoral cycle;
"12. Underlines that the long delay in implementing credible DDR and SSR processes is partly responsible for the current crisis, calls upon the Government of the Central African Republic to adopt and implement a credible and viable SSR strategy, and demands that all armed groups cooperate with the Government in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process;
"13. Strongly condemns the continued violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including the recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming of civilians, including of children, rape and sexual slavery and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence and abductions, and targeting of ethnic minorities perpetrated by armed groups, and specifically the LRA that threaten the population as well as peace and stability of the Central African Republic and the subregion, and requests BINUCA to report on these human rights abuses and other violations perpetrated by armed groups particularly against children and women;
"14. Demands that all armed groups, including the Seleka Coalition (UFDR, CPJP, CPSK, UFR), prevent the recruitment and use of children, calls on relevant armed groups in particular CPJP and APRD to implement the provisions of the action plans signed with the UN SRSG on Children and Armed Conflict in November 2011 immediately, and furthermore demands that all parties protect and treat as victims those children who have been released or otherwise separated from armed forces and armed groups; and emphasizes the need to pay particular attention to the protection, release and reintegration of all children associated with armed groups;
"15. Calls on all parties to identify and release forcefully recruited persons, especially children, from their ranks without delay, and issue clear orders regarding sexual violence, in line with its resolution 1960 (2010), calls on parties to the conflict to facilitate immediate access for victims of sexual violence to available services, and encourage donors to support the increase of services to address the needs of victims, and welcomes the commitments made to prevent and address sexual violence; including the Joint Communiqués on 12 December 2012 between the UN and the Government of the CAR and other parties to the conflict;
"16. Urges the Government of the Central African Republic to investigate reports of human rights violations in the country, including in Bangui, to ensure that those responsible for such violations are brought to justice, and to take the necessary steps to prevent further violations;
"17. Welcomes BINUCA's efforts, in collaboration with the Central African Republic Government and other United Nations actors in the region, to encourage the defection of LRA fighters and abductees and to support the repatriation and reintegration of those who leave the LRA's ranks and stresses the vital importance of a comprehensive approach for a lasting solution to the LRA threat;
"18. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."