New York, 23 Safar 1434/5 January 2013 (China.org.cn/MINA) –The UN Security Council on Friday stressed that the current situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) cannot be resolved militarily, calling on all parties to seek a peaceful solution to the country’s ongoing crisis through political dialogue.
“The members of the Security Council expressed their concern regarding the Seleka coalition’s advance toward Bangui since the last Security Council press statement of December 27, reiterated their urgent call for an end to Seleka’s military offensive, and stressed that the current situation in CAR cannot be resolved militarily,” said a press statement issued by the 15-nation body on Friday night.
In the statement, the Security Council again called on all parties to seek a peaceful solution “by engaging constructively, without preconditions, and in good faith in the negotiations to be held in Libreville beginning January 8 under the auspices of the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS).”
Members of the council reaffirmed their support to the work of the ECCAS and the contribution made by countries of the region to seek ways out of the crisis.
The Security Council also urged all parties in CAR to abide by the country’s constitution and encouraged them to participate in dialogue and to use this opportunity to negotiate “a comprehensive political solution” to the long-standing problems in the country while respecting the 2008 Libreville Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
The 2008 Libreville Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed by the government and the three main rebel groups and helped bring an end to conflicts inside the CAR.
However, the Seleka rebels, who accused President Francois Bozize of reneging on the 2008 peace deal and cracking down on dissidents, launched an armed campaign on Dec. 10 and have taken 10 northern and central towns in their swift advances.
Taking note of the recent announcement by the Seleka coalition of a halt in military activities, the Security Council members reiterated their demand in the statement that the rebel armed groups “cease all hostilities, withdraw from seized cities, and cease attempts to advance further.”
According to the statement, the council also expressed concern about reports of the targeting of ethnic minorities, arrests, detentions, looting, as well as recruitment and use of children in armed conflict in CAR.
The council members “strongly reiterated their call on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians and to respect human rights, and emphasized that those responsible for such violations should be held accountable,” the statement said.
While urging all parties to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access to the affected civilian population, the Security Council emphasized the responsibility of the CAR government to maintain law and order and to ensure the safety and security of the civilian population. (T/R-020/R-006)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)