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UN: Central African Republic Facing Serious Challenges

The senior United Nations diplomat for the Central African Republic said Thursday that the country has made some gains during the past two years but that it continues to face serious challenges.

Margaret Vogt, the United Nations Special Representative for the Central African Republic, told the U.N. Security Council that the country has accomplished much, including the establishment of several governance institutions and the enlargement of freedom of the press. The overall security situation, she said, remains calm but unstable, especially outside the country’s capital, Bangui.

“Despite these advances, the Central African Republic still faces serious challenges. It is afflicted with extreme poverty, weak national institutions, corruption, a high rate of violent crime perpetrated by armed movements and brigands, human rights violations and impunity,” Vogt said.

Vogt, who was appointed to her U.N. post in May, said the Central African Republic is at the crossroads of what she called “critical conflict zones, impacted by insecurity” in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan. She said the country also suffers from cross border criminal elements roaming the Sahel region. A political collapse in the Central African Republic, she warned, would have a “cataclysmic impact” throughout the region.

The representative of the Central African Republic, Charles Armel Doubane, described what he said has been a series of encouraging events since elections in his country earlier this year. He told the Security Council that those developments are clear signs of a return to peace, security and stability. The Central African Republic, he said, is not a hopeless case.

“With its albeit limited means, working tirelessly, it is fighting to continue to stand tall. It is fighting to build the rule of law. This state, lastly, is fighting daily to remain a good father of its family, its population, which only aspires to live and prosper in peace,” Doubane said.

Following a closed-door meeting, the Security Council issued a statement urging all parties in the Central African Republic to work toward national reconciliation and noted its concern for the security situation in the north and east of the country.