By Ambassador James Kariuki at the UN Security Council briefing on the Central African region
Let me start by thanking all of our briefers for their valuable contributions this morning. I also welcome the written contribution from the Peacebuilding Commission, which has an important role to play in the region. And, I’d like to express the United Kingdom’s appreciation for former Special Representative Fall for his dedicated service over the past five years.
President, Central Africa, [today], faces significant political, economic, humanitarian and security challenges. I want to make five points in response to what we have heard so far.
First, the ongoing crisis in North West and South-West regions of Cameroon requires urgent attention. Over the last five years, the United Kingdom has given $25 million of humanitarian aid to support those profoundly affected by the crisis. The United Kingdom calls on all parties to enable safe access to schools and humanitarian assistance.
Second, inclusive, peaceful and credible political processes are critical for building and sustaining peace in the sub-region. UNOCA and its partners have an important role to play in supporting these processes, but it is up to Member States to draw on that support and deliver democratic elections and inclusive transitional processes.
In this respect, president, the United Kingdom reiterates our support to Chad as it undergoes its transition to civilian and constitutional rule. While the pre-dialogue between transitional authorities and political-military groups is welcome, a date should be set as soon as possible for an inclusive national dialogue to progress Chad’s transitional roadmap.
Third, I want to reiterate our concern over the ongoing violence in the Central African Republic, including documented human rights abuses committed by Wagner mercenaries. This continues to compound an already acute humanitarian situation. The activities of all security actors operating in the country should be coordinated by the CAR government and held to international human rights standards. We welcome the March republican dialogue between stakeholders and encourage further progress on this.
Fourth, the United Kingdom welcomes UNOCA’s implementation of climate security projects in Central Africa. Meeting the challenges posed by water shortages, floods and threats to the Congo basin forest requires a joint effort to accelerate progress. It is critical that UNOCA’s work on climate security in the region continue and for this Council to support efforts to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.
Finally, president, Russia’s illegal and unjustified war in Ukraine is exacerbating economic pressures and food security in Central Africa and beyond. The United Kingdom calls on Russia to end the violence and enable safe exports of Ukrainian wheat to help address food and energy crises across the African continent.