Central Africa: 'Sudan Conflict Further Burdens Central African Countries'

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The fighting in Sudan has had devastating humanitarian consequences in Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR), said the top United Nations (UN) envoy for Central Africa on Monday.

Chad and the CAR have received 100,000 and 10,000 Sudanese refugees respectively, said Abdou Abarry, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa.

"I would like to commend the extraordinary generosity and solidarity both countries have exhibited."

He said Chad needs about 130 million U.S. dollars to host the 100,000 Sudanese refugees over the next six months.

A swift and peaceful resolution of the conflict in Sudan is necessary in order to avoid disastrous consequences for Sudan and all countries in the Lake Chad Basin, Abarry told the Security Council.

Joint military operations, which were recently conducted by Chad and the CAR on their common border, attest to their willingness to strengthen bilateral cooperation and overcome security challenges, he said.

Mr Abarry encouraged the two countries to make the most of bilateral cooperation mechanisms as the situation in Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel has shown that a purely military response will be insufficient to address the root causes of insecurity.

Political and socioeconomic measures are also necessary. In their absence, armed groups will continue to instrumentalize inter-communal conflicts, he said.

The security situation in the Central African sub region has been characterized by an increase in maritime piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea. This underscores the need to strengthen inter-regional cooperation, he said.

The Central African sub region is also being hard-hit by the crisis in Ukraine, which has resulted in food and fuel price hikes and sometimes shortages. Although most countries have taken steps to mitigate the effects on consumers, there is a need to be aware that further deterioration in the socioeconomic situation could undermine stability in the region, he said.

Mr Abarry said the coming months will be a turning point for Central Africa, where crucial political and electoral processes are due to take place between now and the end of the year. -Xinhua

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