At its special meeting held in Brussels on 16 December 2013, the Committee of Ambassadors of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States discussed the situation in the Central African Republic.

In the light of the developments in that country since the end of 2013, the Committee of Ambassadors welcomes the positive developments that have taken place, while deploring the deterioration in the humanitarian situation and the continued acts of violence, human rights violations and other atrocities that continue to be committed.

Consequently, the Committee has welcomed the election of a new head of state in the person of Ms. Catherine Samba-Panza and the installation of a new transitional government. It fully supports the interim President and her government and assures them of the ACP Group’s commitment and accompaniment for the peaceful transition towards a rebuilt and reconciled Central African Republic.

The ACP Committee of Ambassadors welcomes the combined action of the MISCA and the Sangaris Operation conducted by France, which was critical to reducing the atrocities committed against civilians and the inter-religious clashes in Central African Republic. In that regard, the Committee commends the adoption by the United Nations Security Council on 28th January 2014 of Resolution 2134, which provides for a series of measures designed to help swiftly restore peace and security to Central African Republic.

Further, the ACP Committee of Ambassadors welcomes the efforts of the United Nations in seeking more funds in support of the African Union peacekeepers (MISCA), which aims to deploy about 6000 troops by the end of March 2014. In this regard, the Committee is encouraged by the international community’s commitments to the Central African Republic since the crisis began, and calls on the ACP States, in particular, to demonstrate their solidarity towards the people of Central African Republic, by supporting these efforts.

Nonetheless, the ACP Committee of Ambassadors is gravely concerned by the deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the country, particularly as regards children, as noted by UNICEF and illustrated by the high rates of infant and maternal mortality, the high incidence of HIV, the lack of access to drinking water and to adequate sanitation, the increasing number of children subject to sexual violence, separated from their families or recruited as child soldiers, as well as the alarming rise in the number of refugees and displaced persons. The Committee is therefore launching an urgent appeal to the international community to massively support the humanitarian strategy drafted by UNICEF for the Central African Republic which focuses on child protection, health and HIV/AIDS, nutrition, water, hygiene, sanitation and education.

The ACP Committee of Ambassadors will continue to closely monitor developments in the security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic.

7 February 2014