Statement by Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, at the open VTC of UNSC members on the Central African Republic (CAR)
At the outset, I would like to thank our today’s briefers for their informative inputs. I would also like to greet attendance of Madam Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic to our videoconference.
Despite a number of existing difficulties, the parties to the conflict in the CAR managed to achieve tangible progress in advancing the political process launched in February 2019. We can see a gradual improvement of the situation with security and human rights, a decrease in the level of armed violence. National armed forces and internal security forces are expanding throughout the territory of the Central African Republic. Considerable progress was also achieved in training and deployment of special mixed security units. We encourage the CAR Authorities to continue implementing of the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation Program for combatants, as soon as COVID-related restrictions are lifted.
We presume that under the current challenging circumstances, all parties should strictly comply with the provisions of the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic and refrain from undermining the political situation in the country. For our part, Russia, by using its influence, will continue to encourage all signatories to refrain from any form of violence in the interests of restoration of peace and security in the CAR.
We commend the steps by the CAR Authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 and would like to echo a call by the Secretary-General upon all political actors “to resist any temptation to politicize the pandemic”.
We strongly believe it is in the interest of the CAR to fulfill the critical task of organizing and conducting peaceful, free and transparent presidential and legislative elections that will be an important milestone in the further stabilization and normalization of the situation in the country. We are pleased to note that a revised electoral calendar published on 29 April adheres to constitutional timelines.
We welcome the efforts by President Touadera to de-escalate political tensions, including his decision to launch a frank dialogue with country’s political actors and partners to seek way forward on preparation to the elections. We are encouraged by the fact that the National Assembly adopted several important laws in conformity with the Agreement.
The Russian Federation is ready to continue to provide comprehensive assistance to the CAR with a view to resolving the crisis, including by facilitating security sector reform. We are convinced that increasing the combat readiness and professional training of the national army and law enforcement agencies will effectively counter the activities of illegal armed groups, ensure the protection of civilians and will help restore state authority in all parts of the country.
We will continue to follow closely the process of national reconciliation, acting in coordination with the CAR authorities, African Union, Economic Community of Central African States, MINUSCA and international partners of the CAR. It is high time to render our collective support to Bangui to overcome the current challenges.
I thank you, Mr. President.