On the eve of general elections in the Central African Republic (CAR), the United Nations Secretary-General has called on all stakeholders to ensure that the polls are held in a peaceful, inclusive and credible manner.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General António Guterres urged all actors "to refrain from any action, including violence, hate speech and incitement to violence, that could threaten human lives and undermine the electoral process and national stability."
Mr. Guterres also called on all political stakeholders and their supporters "to resolve their differences peacefully, including through dialogue and appropriate institutional mechanisms, in accordance with national laws."
Surge in violence
The Central African Republic goes to polls on 27 December, against a backdrop of rising violence.
On Friday, peacekeepers from the UN mission in the country (known by its French acronym MINUSCA) and national security forces were attacked by unidentified gunmen in central and southern CAR. Three peacekeepers were killed and another two wounded.
There has also been a sharp increase in violence against humanitarian personnel, civilians, state authority, as well as candidates.
Support and solidarity
In the statement, the Secretary-General strongly denounced the attacks and called on national authorities to ensure accountability for election-related violence.
"He urges signatory parties to the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic to strictly comply with their commitments and address their concerns through peaceful means," the statement added.
Mr. Guterres also reiterated to the people of CAR, "the continued support and solidarity of the United Nations, in coordination with national, regional and international actors, as they strive to consolidate peace and democracy in their country."