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Fragile Democratic Advances at Risk in Central Africa as Violence by Armed Groups Increases

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Fragile Democratic Advances at Risk in Central Africa as Violence by Armed Groups Increases

Attacks by armed groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State’s West African province pose grave threats to the fragile stability of Central Africa, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the Security Council said on Monday, while highlighting crucial democratic advances. that must be protected.

NEW YORK, USA, June 9, 2021, – / African Media Agency (AMA) / – François Louncény Fall, who also heads the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), said recent incidents, including the death of President Idriss Déby Itno of Chad at the hands of rebel fighters, and the subsequent political transition in that country, illustrate serious obstacles to lasting peace in the subregion.

Transition in Chad

Noting that Chad is at the nexus of the region’s toughest security challenges, Fall said dynamics in neighboring Libya, Sudan and the Central African Republic could negatively affect the country as it moves forward with unexpected political changes in the aftermath. death of President Itno.

Those risks are compounded by the activities of terrorist groups in the Lake Chad basin.
Supporting the country’s rapid transition to a democratic and constitutional government should be a priority for regional actors and the international community, Fall emphasized.

It welcomed the convening of two extraordinary summits of Heads of State and Government, including one focusing on the situation in Chad on 4 June, as proof that leaders are determined to provide a regional response to the ongoing crises of the subregion.

Highlighting the recent appointment by the African Union of a High Representative for the transition in Chad and a new Special Representative in the country, he said the UN will prioritize its support for those critical regional efforts.

Armed group violence

Meanwhile, non-state armed groups such as Boko Haram, the Islamic State West African province, and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continue to pose threats to peace and stability throughout the region.

Describing the “horrendous” impacts on the civilian population, Fall said violence in northwestern and southwestern Cameroon has worsened, leading to widespread human rights violations and further suffering. The situation is further aggravated by the aggravated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calling on all parties to demonstrate their commitment to dialogue through concrete actions, including the cessation of hostilities, he said that coordination between the countries of the subregion should be strengthened to better address the deterioration of the security situation and the escalation of humanitarian needs.

Meanwhile, maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea remains a serious threat, with more incidents recorded in the Central African maritime region in the first quarter of 2021 than in the broader West Africa region.

Preserve democratic advances

Mr. Fall stressed that the growing security concerns of Central Africa must not be allowed to reverse the electoral progress made by the countries of the subregion in recent years.

He noted that since his last briefing to the Council in December 2020, elections had been held in four countries, namely the Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo.

In this context, the Government of Burundi convened a meeting of the United Nations Permanent Consultative Committee on Security Issues in Central Africa on May 28, where the leaders recommended the development of a subregional protocol on electoral governance and democratic elections.

They also highlighted the importance of strengthening the participation of women and youth.

“As the subregion prepares for the next elections … I would like to encourage national authorities and all political actors to promote continued dialogue and consensus,” said Mr. Fall, highlighting the elections in São Tomé and Príncipe on 18 July as a next chance.

He pledged to continue the good offices functions of the UN to that end.

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