11 April 2014

Central African Republic: Nzapayeke - 'The UN Is Committed to CAR'

Photo: Till Muellenmeister/IRIN
Anti Balaka fighters at Bangui´s estate PK9, waiting to attack Muslim IDPs convoys passing the road

interview

Central African Republic Prime Minister Nzapayeke tells DW he welcomes a UN decision to send 12,000 troops to his country. The peacekeepers will help restore stability and prepare the ground for next year's elections.

The United Nations Security Council decided unanimously on Thursday (10.04.2014) to send nearly 12,000 peacekeepers to the Central African Republic. They are scheduled to start their mission in mid-September. What is your view of this decision?

The resolution was approved unanimously - that is good news and proves that the international community as a whole has committed to finding a lasting solution to the conflict in the Central African Republic. We are very pleased to see the will is there on the part of the international community to help us.

The government in Chad recently decided to withdraw the 850 soldiers serving as part of the African Union mission to the CAR that was tasked with providing security. Is the Security Council's decision a consolation for you?

You cannot call it that. This wasn't a rushed decision made by the UN. It was well prepared, everyone involved carefully considered each step. There was a lot of communication, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon traveled to Bangui last week. This vote was carefully considered by everyone who voted for it. We are sure of that. It addresses a serious responsibility - not a consolation.

The resolution has been passed, but now the troops need to be mobilized.

Ban Ki-moon promised us during his trip to Bangui that he would do everything he can to get the 12,000 soldiers deployed as quickly as possible. For a long time there has been a plan to evaluate the work of the African Union's mission to the Central African Republic and consider its further development into a UN mission. That happened and we are very happy about it. We can look ahead with more confidence and more means for the organization of the planned national elections.

Representatives of the CAR at the Security Council called for the UN mission to be entrusted to an African. Is that really important?

It is a detail, but it is an important detail. It would be a message of encouragement to Africa. To show that Africa is taking its future into its own hands and deciding on the path it will go down on its own. We also cannot forget that the African countries in the region and the African Union have been supporting us for a long time ahead of the UN resolution. That is why we think it is fair that this UN mission be led by an African.

Andre Nzapayeke became interim prime minister of the transitional government in the Central African Republic in January 2014. New elections are scheduled to be held in 2015.

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InFocus

Timing of CAR Peacekeeper 'Worrisome'

Anti Balaka fighters at Bangui´s estate PK9, waiting to attack Muslim IDPs convoys passing the road

Despite a unanimous vote to send UN peacekeepers to Central African Republic, rights groups say a full six months before the mission becomes operational might be too long for ... Read more »