ACP MPs warn of mounting instability in Central African Republic
Addis Ababa, 22 November 2013/ ACP: African Members of Parliament called for intensified support from the ACP Group and the international community for the worsening security situation in the Central African Republic, during political meetings held this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“The ACP Group should make an early warning of the [potential] eruption of war in CAR. We need to put a fact-finding mission on the ground… All parliaments are duty-bound to respond and support efforts made by international bodies on the issue,” said Tanzanian MP Hon. Mussa Azzan Zungu, at the 34th session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly.
Clashes last December between the Seleka rebel movement and the CAR government culminated in a coup in March 2013. Regional efforts quickly established the National Transitional Council (CNT), as well as an interim government and an 18-month roadmap towards free and fair elections in 2015. The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly passed a resolution in June supporting these efforts.
But Tchad deputy Hon. Adjedoue Weidou pointed out that the transitional period towards the planned 2015 elections has been jeopardised by escalating violence.
More ethnic and communal tensions have erupted in recent weeks between Seleka and other groups in the north-western part of CAR, killing more than 200 people and displacing at least 170,000.
It compounds the ongoing acute humanitarian trauma, including the displacement of tens of thousands of Central Africans, both internally or as refugees in neighbouring countries. Serious human rights violations have been reported, inflicted by armed groups, such as killings, rape, torture and enlistment of children into their forces. The UN estimates more than 1.5 million CAR nationals in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the food crisis and past and present violence.
“Holding the elections at the beginning of 2015 requires the pacification of the entire Republic,” said Central African delegate Hon. Laurent Ngom-Baba. He said it was imperative that no effort be spared to support the work of the African-led International Support Mission to the CAR at all levels.
It is expected that a declaration on the issue will be finalised by ACP parliamentarians by the end of their meetings next week on Wednesday 27th November.
– ACP Press