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Statement by Alice Jacobs, UK Deputy Political Coordinator at the UN, at the Security Council briefing on Central Africa.

Thank you President. Thank you also to the briefers, President of the Commission of ECCAS, and welcome to Special Representative Abarry. We look forward to working with you again in your

new role and commend UNOCA’s ongoing efforts to support and promote peace, stability, and security in Central Africa.

President, I will make four points today.

First, as we look towards opportunities, elections in the sub-region are intrinsic to building and sustaining peace, as we have seen in Sao Tome et Principe and Angola. It is critical that political processes remain inclusive, peaceful and credible. UNOCA and its partners have an important role to play in supporting these processes, but it is up to member states to draw on that support and deliver democratic elections and inclusive transitional processes.

Second, the United Kingdom reiterates our support to Chad’s transition to civilian and constitutional rule. However, we remain concerned that the transition, as currently envisaged, contravenes the conditions set out in the African Union Peace and Security Council communiqué of 14 May 2021 that President Deby agreed to uphold.

We were saddened to see the eruption of violence in October and welcome the launch of an inquiry as well as your engagement, SRSG, with Heads of Missions in N’Djamena on this important issue. We urge UNOCA, ECCAS, and the Chadian government to ensure that the investigation is credible, transparent and independent. We also call on the Chadian government to ensure due legal process for the remaining individuals currently detained, including minors.

Third, a continuing challenge for the sub-region is the ongoing crises in Cameroon, and the dire humanitarian situation, which require urgent attention. The United Kingdom calls on all parties to engage in inclusive dialogue, and enable safe access to schools and humanitarian assistance.

Finally, I want to reiterate our concern for the ongoing violence in the Central African Republic and the distressing toll it is taking on the population. It compounds an already acute humanitarian situation and risks undermining progress on reconciliation. Targeting of civilians not only by armed groups, but by national forces and the Russian mercenary group, Wagner, continue to play a destabilising role in the country. We call on the Government of the CAR to conduct full and timely investigations into allegations of human rights violations and abuses, to ensure that all perpetrators are held to account.

Thank you, President.

Photo by Peter Fitzgerald, Wikimedia commons.