- The UN Security Council today urged the authorities in the Central African Republic to carry out reforms that would allow elections to take place according to the agreed timetable and suggested that the UN mission in the country play a role in organising the voting.
Signs that the Bangui military leader, François Bozizé, is starting to back down on the national democratisation process seem to have alerted the 15-member Security Council, which today sent out a warning to Central African authorities.
The Security Council had been briefed on the latest developments in the country and on the operations of the UN Peace-Building Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) by the Representative of the UN Secretary-General, General Lamine Cissé, the UN reports today.
- Members of the Security Council called on Central African authorities to carry on reforms in order to allow the electoral operations to take place in the best conditions and according to the expected timetable, current Security Council President, Ambassador Heraldo Muñoz of Chile, said in a press statement.
He added that the Security Council had invited UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to "examine ways for BONUCA to play a role in the preparation and organisation of the electoral operations."
The Peace-Building Office's mandate was extended through the end of this year so that BONUCA could help shepherd the country through the elections, the UN reports today.
Security Council members however also called for the strengthening of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community's (CEMAC) peacekeeping force and asked the Central African Republic's authorities to ensure that the increasing human rights violations "do not remain unpunished."
Ambassador Muñoz also urged the international community to examine ways of assisting the Central African Republic's transition, which he noted is now in a "crucial phase."
The UN Secretary-General in his recent report on the Central African Republic to the Security Council had warned that the country easily could return to "instability, with incalculable consequences for its people and the entire subregion," unless the international community gives more humanitarian aid and offers support to the country's budding electoral process.
This lack of international aid and funds was also the cause of the failure of the civilian government of Angé-Felix Patassé, which was overthrown by General Bozizé in a military coup last year. President Patassé was unable to pay civil servants and maintain public services, let alone start on reconstruction and economic development.
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