Nigeria's military gains against Boko Haram uncover vast humanitarian needs – UN

19 August 2016 – The United Nations refugee agency said today that it is increasingly alarmed at the unfolding situation in north-east Nigeria where the advancing military campaign against Boko Haram has exposed “catastrophic” levels of suffering among a population outside humanitarian reach over months or years.

“While many areas are still beyond reach, in Borno and Yobe states, the picture of suffering is shocking,” Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.

He said that numerous reports of human rights violations, including deaths, sexual violence, disappearances, forced recruitment, forced religious conversions, and attacks on civilian sites, have been received. Some 800,000 additional internally displaced people have been identified as needing help.

“Severe malnutrition on a wide scale is being reported, and the needs are growing with each day,” he said, noting that in Borno state, 51,474 people are on the refugee agency’s critically vulnerable list, 21,912 of these being children – more than three quarters of whom have lost one or both parents.

An additional displacement complication has arisen from the knock-on effect of the military activity and the resulting further spread of insecurity to the north and west across the borders and into parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The violent attacks against military personnel in the town of Bosso in south-eastern Niger on 3 June resulted in the worst displacement there since the beginning of the crisis in 2013.

Amid this, some 106,000 Nigerian refugees have been pressed back into homeland, with Borno receiving 67,000, Adamawa 22,000 and Yobe 17,000. These people, who became new internally displaced people in the process, need reception, registration and other protection help, plus shelter, psycho-social support and material assistance, Mr. Edwards said.

UNHCR is responding by scaling up its operations, he said, explaining that the immediate focus is the needs of some 488,000 highly vulnerable people in critical condition and now concentrated in ten newly liberated local government areas in Borno state, as well as the needs of the returned refugees.

The insurgency in northeast Nigeria has mutated into a vast regional crisis confronting Nigeria and its three Lake Chad Basin neighbours – Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Insecurity has driven more than 187,000 Nigerians across the border, but incursions by Boko Haram into the surrounding countries have generated growing numbers of internally displaced people too. There are 157,000 internally displaced people in Cameroon, 74,800 in Chad and over 127,000 in Niger.

As of the most recent available date there are 2,066,783 internally displaced persons in Nigeria.

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Nigeria’s military gains against Boko Haram uncover vast humanitarian needs – UN

19 August 2016 – The United Nations refugee agency said today that it is increasingly alarmed at the unfolding situation in north-east Nigeria where the advancing military campaign against Boko Haram has exposed “catastrophic” levels of suffering among a population outside humanitarian reach over months or years.

“While many areas are still beyond reach, in Borno and Yobe states, the picture of suffering is shocking,” Adrian Edwards, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told reporters in Geneva.

He said that numerous reports of human rights violations, including deaths, sexual violence, disappearances, forced recruitment, forced religious conversions, and attacks on civilian sites, have been received. Some 800,000 additional internally displaced people have been identified as needing help.

“Severe malnutrition on a wide scale is being reported, and the needs are growing with each day,” he said, noting that in Borno state, 51,474 people are on the refugee agency’s critically vulnerable list, 21,912 of these being children – more than three quarters of whom have lost one or both parents.

An additional displacement complication has arisen from the knock-on effect of the military activity and the resulting further spread of insecurity to the north and west across the borders and into parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger. The violent attacks against military personnel in the town of Bosso in south-eastern Niger on 3 June resulted in the worst displacement there since the beginning of the crisis in 2013.

Amid this, some 106,000 Nigerian refugees have been pressed back into homeland, with Borno receiving 67,000, Adamawa 22,000 and Yobe 17,000. These people, who became new internally displaced people in the process, need reception, registration and other protection help, plus shelter, psycho-social support and material assistance, Mr. Edwards said.

UNHCR is responding by scaling up its operations, he said, explaining that the immediate focus is the needs of some 488,000 highly vulnerable people in critical condition and now concentrated in ten newly liberated local government areas in Borno state, as well as the needs of the returned refugees.

The insurgency in northeast Nigeria has mutated into a vast regional crisis confronting Nigeria and its three Lake Chad Basin neighbours – Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Insecurity has driven more than 187,000 Nigerians across the border, but incursions by Boko Haram into the surrounding countries have generated growing numbers of internally displaced people too. There are 157,000 internally displaced people in Cameroon, 74,800 in Chad and over 127,000 in Niger.

As of the most recent available date there are 2,066,783 internally displaced persons in Nigeria.

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FAO GIEWS Country Brief on Cameroon (16-August-2016)

Reference Date: 16-August-2016

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Concerns over performance of 2016 cropping season in Far North Region due to civil insecurity

  2. Prices of cereals at low levels except in northern regions

  3. Food security situation sharply deteriorated in 2015 and 2016 due to massive refugee influx and internal displacements

Concerns over 2016 cropping season in Far North Region, strong livelihood support required

Harvesting of the main 2016 season maize crop started in July in the bi‑modal centre and south. Satellite‑based information and analysis indicate that crop growing conditions from March to the third dekad of May 2016 (see Map 1) have been generally favourable in the most regions, following well‑distributed rainfall. However, below average rainfall in July in southern parts (see Map 2) had a negative impact on long cycle crops. Rainfall amounts and distribution in the coming weeks will be crucial for long cycle crop development and performance.

By contrast, in the unimodal north, the outlook for sorghum and millet crops, expected to be harvested from October, is uncertain despite favourable weather conditions (see Map 3). In the Far North Region, agricultural operations continue to be severely affected by civil unrest which spread from neighbouring Nigeria in late 2014 and resulted in displacement of people, caused input shortages and depleted households’ productive assets that were already inadequate, due to recurrent climatic shocks which have eroded the resilience capacity of a large number of households. As a result, a reduced agricultural output for the second consecutive year is likely and a timely and effective support to the agricultural sector is required to mitigate the extent of the impact of the protracted and widespread insecurity on the agricultural sector.

FAO is appealing for USD 3.4 million to support vulnerable households affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and the households affected by natural disasters with improved seeds, tools and fertilizers.

Prices of cereals at low levels except in northern regions

As of June 2016, year‑on‑year food inflation was 2.1 percent, slightly higher than the general inflation, which stood at 1.6 percent. Food inflation was mostly driven by increasing prices of fruits and vegetables: the year‑on‑year inflation rate for fruits was 10.5 percent, while that of vegetables was 7 percent. The inflation rate for bread and cereals stood at about zero. Year‑on‑year, prices of maize declined by 9 percent; by contrast, prices of millet increased by 11 percent due to a low 2015 output compounded by market disruptions, caused by widespread insecurity in northern regions, where the cereal is predominantly grown. In these areas, reduced cross‑border trade flows towards neighbouring countries prevented millet prices to further increase.

Prices of maize (see Chart 1), the most consumed cereal, moderately increased in some markets following seasonal patterns between January and May 2016, subsequently levelling off or slightly declining in June in anticipation of the main season harvest. Prices in June were below or around their levels of a year earlier largely reflecting the adequate availabilities from the average 2015 cereal production.

Prices of wheat and rice (see Chart 2), mostly sourced from the international market and mainly consumed in the urban areas, were stable in the first semester of 2016 in Douala, the largest urban centre and the main entry port for imports. By contrast, in the capital, Yaoundé, prices of wheat and rice recorded some volatility. Overall, prices of wheat and rice in June in both urban centres were around their levels of the same month of the previous year.

Food security situation sharply deteriorated in 2015 and early 2016 due to refugee influx and internal displacements

Local resources in northern and eastern regions have been put under added strain by the arrival of large numbers of refugees from neighbouring Nigeria and Central African Republic (CAR).

As of June 2016, the number of refugees from CAR who sought refuge in North, East and Adamaoua regions after a surge in sectarian violence in December 2013, was estimated at about 158 000. Taking into account the refugees who had entered the country in earlier waves since 2004 to escape rebel groups and bandits, the total number of refugees from CAR residing in Cameroon is currently put at about 274 000.

Refugees from Nigeria, who entered the Far North Region following the serious deterioration of the security situation in Borno State in June 2013, were estimated at about 65 000 in early August 2016. So far 4 063 new arrivals were recorded in 2016. In addition, civil unrest spread from Nigeria into the region and caused the displacement of 157 000 Cameroonians, while 33 000 individuals are currently displaced following floods in recent years.

As a result of these multiple shocks and of natural hazards (in northern areas, food production in 2015 was also negatively affected by drought), the overall food security situation has sharply deteriorated in 2015 and 2016. The number of food insecure people was estimated in February 2016 at 2.4 million (see Chart 3), more than twice the level of June 2015. Around 203 000 people are in severe food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or 4). Child malnutrition is also concerning: an estimated 61 000 children under the age of five in Cameroon are expected to suffer from life threatening Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in 2016, as a result of the ongoing crisis. The area most affected by food insecurity is the Far North Region, according to an Emergency Food Security Assessment conducted in September last year, where 35 percent of the population is food insecure, of which 5 percent is severely food insecure. In this region, the area where the food security situation is most concerning is the northernmost Logone‑et‑Chari department, where about 58 percent of the total population has been affected by the crisis, and 19 percent has been displaced. Here, due to erratic weather conditions and widespread insecurity which severely constrained access to land, crop production in 2015 was 32.4 percent lower than the previous year, with an estimated uncovered cereal deficit of 75 844 tonnes. Local crop production was estimated to be sufficient for the coverage of just five months of consumption, with an ensuing early start of the lean season. As a result, according to a multi agency Multi Sector Rapid Evaluation conducted in the department in June 2016, one in three people suffers from food insecurity, for a total caseload of 220 000 individuals, and the food consumption score was poor or borderline for 38 percent of the households.

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Secretary-General Welcomes Agreement between European, African Union Commission, to Multi-National Joint Task Force Initiative Combating Boko Haram

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General welcomes the signing of an agreement between the European Commission and the African Union Commission, in Brussels on 1 August 2016, for a €50 million European Union contribution to the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), an initiative of the Lake Chad Basin countries and Benin to combat Boko Haram in the subregion.

The Secretary-General wishes to take this opportunity to commend the Lake Chad Basin countries and Benin for the significant progress achieved in combating the terrorist threat posed by Boko Haram.  He particularly welcomes the enhanced cooperation and coordination by countries of the region, their individual contributions to the Force and the sacrifices made in the fight against Boko Haram.

The Secretary-General renews the United Nations readiness to continue to support regional efforts in the fight against terrorism, consistent with its mandate.  He reiterates his call on MNJTF member States to ensure that counter-terrorism measures are in full compliance with their obligations under international human rights, humanitarian and refugee laws.  This is crucial, as Boko Haram is most unlikely to be defeated if the affected communities do not have confidence in the armed forces that are supposed to protect them.

The Secretary-General encourages the Governments of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria to consolidate MNJTF operations by re-establishing State authority and resuming social services in Boko Haram-affected areas, as well as creating an environment conducive for the safe and voluntary return, resettlement or local integration of the internally displaced and refugee populations.

The Secretary-General commends the European Union for this timely contribution and urges the international community to continue to enhance its support to regional efforts to combat the Boko Haram threat and in mitigating the impact of its activities through the provision of requisite humanitarian, political, financial and logistical support.

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Let the Games Begin

The Olympics are no boon for Rio. “No medals have yet been awarded, and Rio is already an exemplar of the Olympics’ disastrous model of urban development and planning.This is a disaster 30 years in the making. As with almost all host cities over the last couple of decades, Rio is unlikely to see any perceptible post-Olympics rise in growth, employment, wages, or tourism, and the gains that are made in terms of new transport infrastructure and housing are overwhelmingly focused on neighborhoods that are already super wealthy.” (QZ http://bit.ly/2aUuxOo)

On a  more positive note…”For the first time, a refugee team will compete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It will comprise those two Syrian swimmers, an Ethiopian marathoner, two Congolese judokas and five South Sudanese middle-distance runners. They will represent more than 60 million refugees across the world, the highest total since World War II, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency. They will provide a human story to a worldwide crisis. They will walk into Maracana Stadium during the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night under the same flag not as victims, but as competitors.” (WaPo http://wapo.st/2aUvuq0)

New UN Report shows Yemen is a mess…”Yemen’s Houthi rebels used civilians as human shields, Islamic State militants in the country received an influx of cash and al Qaeda has improved its roadside bombs, according to a confidential report by United Nations experts monitoring sanctions on Yemen.The 105-page report to the U.N. Security Council, seen by Reuters on Thursday, also said a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia had violated international humanitarian law by bombing a civilian home in Al-Mahala village in May, and the monitors were investigating three other cases in which civilians were bombed.” (Reuters http://reut.rs/2axjSWI)

Tens of millions in aid money allegedly diverted to Hamas…Israeli prosecutors charged a World Vision aid worker on Thursday with diverting tens of millions of dollars meant for aid projects to Hamas. Mohammad El Halabi, who was arrested in June, is accused of infiltrating the aid group and running sham programs on behalf of Hamas in Gaza. World Vision issued a statement that said it is “shocked” by the charges and that there is no reason to believe they are true. (Humanosphere http://buff.ly/2aDPkRI)

Security Council Holds Second Straw Poll Today on the Next UN Secretary General (Xinhua http://bit.ly/2aUvTJ4)

Government soldiers and security forces in South Sudan executed civilians and gang-raped women and girls during and after ethnically-charged fighting last month in the capital Juba, the United Nations said on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2aZ4LWz)

Floods and heavy rain in Sudan have killed 76 people and destroyed thousands of homes in recent days, the interior minister said on Thursday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2apmLHp)

East African leaders will gather in Ethiopia on Friday to discuss a regional intervention force to back up UN troops in South Sudan, an initiative vehemently opposed by President Salva Kiir. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aX5k6o)

South Africa’s local elections have delivered a sharp setback to the African National Congress, as partial results showed falling support for the party that ended apartheid. (Al Jazeera http://bit.ly/2aUw3ju)

Chad has banned opposition rallies planned for this weekend, ahead of Monday’s swearing-in ceremony for President Idriss Deby’s fifth term, the interior ministry announced in a decree. (AFP http://bit.ly/2aUwQkA)

The Malian defence ministry on Thursday admitted six soldiers have been missing since a deadly jihadist attack in July on a military base in the heart of the country. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aUKpjZ)

The world must not forget about the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency on West Africa’s Lake Chad region where 100,000 people are uprooted, as fears of famine rise in northeast Nigeria, aid agencies said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aZ2BWJ)

The World Health Organization and its partners shipped more than 6 million yellow fever vaccines to Angola in February to quash an emerging epidemic, yet when they asked country officials the following month what happened to the vaccines, they discovered that about 1 million doses had mysteriously disappeared. (AP http://yhoo.it/2ayDz4r)

World Breastfeeding Week has taken on special urgency in Cameroon where a recent government survey revealed that as many as 70 percent of babies are not exclusively breastfed during the first six months of life. Health workers in Cameroon are trying to get the message out. (VOA http://bit.ly/2apl3Wc)

Human rights activists on Thursday demanded clemency for a Senegalese maid who was trafficked to Saudi Arabia and may face the death penalty after being charged with killing her employer. (Reuters http://bit.ly/2ayXZqU)

The World Food Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration and UNICEF completed an urgent relief operation to provide a one-month ration of desperately-needed food and hygiene supplies to more than 75,000 people who are trapped along a land embankment, or berm, at the Syria-Jordan border.  (WFP http://bit.ly/2aUwYAG)

Cranes hoisted huge white bags with rice, lentils and dates from Jordan into tent camps on the Syrian side of a border berm — an unprecedented way of delivering U.N. aid to tens of thousands of displaced Syrians cut off from outside help for almost two months. (AP http://yhoo.it/2ayXj4S)

The White House and Hillary Clinton faced questions Thursday about a $400-million cash payment to Iran early this year, there was a bit of shared incredulity that it has suddenly become an issue in the presidential campaign. After all, the White House’s spokesman noted, President Obama publicly announced the payment last January as part of the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal. (WSJ http://lat.ms/2aUuUbU)

Shell companies created by the law firm behind the “Panama Papers” played a central role in alleged Italian bribes paid to Algerian officials for energy contracts, an investigative journalism group said Monday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2ayDuOc)

A Turkish gay rights organization says a gay Syrian refugee has been found decapitated in Istanbul. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aZ4B1u)

A Chinese rights activist whose health is deteriorating after a three-month hunger strike should be released and given medical care, United Nations human rights experts said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2ayY4ec)

The death of a schoolgirl three days after she was set on fire by a stalker in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has sparked outrage from activists who said the law was failing victims of unwanted advances from men. (VOA http://bit.ly/2aZ2rPi)

Only 20 percent of Pacific Island households have access to electricity — and the cost is among the highest in the world, according to a senior World Bank official. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2axVfa6)

At least 30 children have died in northwestern Myanmar since mid-June from an unknown disease that causes breathing difficulty, officials said Thursday. (AP http://yhoo.it/2aBDs5C)

Nepal’s new Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda named a minority leader to the key position of home minister in his first appointments on Thursday, seeking reconciliation after months of protests by southern plainsfolk over a new constitution. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aZ5yqB)

Three experimental Zika vaccines protected monkeys against infection from the virus, an encouraging sign as research moves into studies in people. (AP http://yhoo.it/2ayDwWj)

The United States is deeply concerned about Venezuela’s failure to embrace a robust dialogue to address its political crisis, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aZ3ajD)

Colombia says it will deport more than 1,200 Cubans who’ve been stranded in the South American country. (CNN http://cnn.it/2ayEOQS)

Cuba says it has diagnosed the Zika virus in two people who appear to have contracted it inside the country, which has been largely successful in controlling the disease. (AP http://yhoo.it/2ayE8eu)

The Colombian government and FARC rebel group will sign a peace agreement after the guerrillas hold a final internal conference to approve the historic deal, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said. (AFP http://yhoo.it/2apmfJo)

Major progress has been made in curbing the number of children going to bed hungry, but a deadly combination of discrimination and poverty means some groups are being left behind, an international children’s charity said on Thursday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aZ2P0b)

Italy’s anti-corruption authority is investigating Rome’s public rubbish management agency as concerns grow that waste problems plaguing the capital could turn critical. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2axUmi5)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday the government is compelled to overhaul state institutions after an abortive military coup attempted to topple him. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/2aBCDtL)

One of the most stable Democracies in Africa Faces A Tough Test. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2axjFmj)

Poverty, Vulnerability and Social Protection (Inter Press Service http://bit.ly/2axTIRj)

How to tell humanitarian disaster stories responsibly (Guardian http://bit.ly/2aBCG8S)

World Vision “humanitarian hero” accused of funnelling millions to Hamas (IRIN http://bit.ly/2aUKlRh)

Look at 11 key challenges facing Nepal’s new government (AP http://yhoo.it/2apngBi)

Will US strikes on IS deepen Libya divisions? (AFP http://yhoo.it/2aX6w9K)

It was genocide with a template. We must seek justice for the Yazidi people (Guardian http://bit.ly/2aMnPrc)

Who and what is missing from the Yemen peace process? (IRIN http://bit.ly/2apl9gT)

Discussion

comments…

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EU steps up aid for Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon as humanitarian crisis worsens

The European Commission is providing an additional €12.5 million in humanitarian aid to support people in Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon as they face a deteriorating humanitarian crisis. The new funding comes as violence by the terrorist group Boko Haram from northern Nigeria has severely destabilised the Lake Chad region, causing the displacement of millions of people.

“When travelling to the region last month, I witnessed the plight of people in the Lake Chad Basin. Millions have been displaced and the number of those struggling to find food is increasingly alarming. The situation in Nigeria is especially dramatic. As always, children are hit the hardest and we must urgently intervene to stop their suffering. This additional EU funding will focus on emergency assistance, primarily in the areas of food and nutrition, water and sanitation, and health. All efforts should be made to ensure that humanitarian organisations can safely reach those who need urgent help. said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

The amount of €9 million will be provided to support people in Nigeria, €2 million in Cameroon and €1.5 million in Niger. The aid comes on top of the €58 million previously allocated to the Lake Chad Basin crisis, bringing overall EU humanitarian aid to over €70 million for the region in 2016.

The total EU humanitarian aid to populations in the Lake Chad basin and in the Sahel so far in 2016 amounts to €216 200 000:

Country

Resilience and food

Support for conflict affected population in Lake Chad Basin

Additional emergency assistance

Burkina Faso

€15 300 000

Cameroon

€2 000 000

€9 000 000

€2 000 000

Chad

€41 000 000

€9 200 000

Mali

€17 500 000

Mauritania

€10 700 000

Niger

€29 000 000

€9 000 000

€1 500 000

Nigeria

€31 000 000

€9 000 000

Senegal

€6 400 000

West Africa regional programmes

€23 600 000

 

€145 500 000

€58 200 000

€12 500 000

Total 2016:   €216 200 000

 

 

Background

Nigeria is the worst hit country by the regional humanitarian crisis. The United Nations estimates over 7 million Nigerians have been affected by the conflict in the north-east of the country alone – including over 2 million displaced who rely on humanitarian assistance to survive. Already vulnerable host communities are also deeply affected, as is the local population in Nigeria, and increasingly so.  

The Far North Region of Cameroon currently hosts over 65 000 Nigerian refugees and more than 191 000 internally displaced persons, 158 500 of whom have fled attacks by Boko Haram.

Meanwhile, the violence has forced some 167 000 people from their homes in Niger, which also hosts over 82 000 Nigerian refugees. 

At the same time, some 4.4 million Nigerians are estimated to be severely food insecure in the north-east of the country. The number of children suffering from ‘severe acute malnutrition’ is reported to be particularly alarming – at least 244 000 are estimated to be affected in the state of Borno alone. Aid agencies are reporting that one in five children may die if not provided with urgent life-saving treatment.

While the needs are immense, providing humanitarian assistance in Nigeria and the region as a whole remains challenging as demonstrated by the attack against humanitarian responders in north-east Nigeria only last week.

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Boko Haram Violence Blamed for Massive Insecurity, Forced Displacement, as Security Council Considers Situation in Lake Chad Basin

Speakers Hail Regional Military Efforts, Call for More International Support

Violence by Boko Haram had led to massive forced displacement and a widespread humanitarian crisis in West Africa’s Lake Chad Basin, senior United Nations officials told the Security Council today, as speakers called for increased international support for regional efforts to combat terrorism and meet the needs of 9.2 million people facing unimaginable desperation across four countries.

Jeffrey Feltman, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, briefed the Council ahead of a debate on peace and security in Africa, describing the dramatic impacts of terrorism and humanitarian needs on the region.  Mr. Feltman had visited Gabon, Congo, Chad, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, from 20 to 26 July, and Mr. O’Brien travelled to Nigeria and Niger in May.

Mr. Feltman welcomed efforts by the Lake Chad Basin countries to combat Boko Haram, noting that the Multinational Joint Task Force comprising military forces from those countries, had recaptured 80 per cent of territory under the group’s control.  However, it faced a severe lack of funding, he said, noting that only $250 million had been pledged at an African Union donors’ conference held on 1 February in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Even less had been disbursed, he said, emphasizing that success for the Task Force would depend on timely, actionable intelligence as well as specialized counter-terrorism skills and equipment.

“Lake Chad Basin countries need our support to help ensure that military operations are followed by stabilization measures and the restoration of State authority,” he continued.  Noteworthy recommendations had emerged from a regional security summit held on 14 May in Abuja, Nigeria, which had underscored the impact of climate change.  He encouraged the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to adopt a common regional strategy to address the crisis.

Mr. O’Brien said boundless insecurity had weakened a region already impacted by environmental degradation — including the shrinking of Lake Chad — the world’s highest population growth and widespread extreme poverty.  An estimated 9 million people across Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon were in need of assistance, he said, adding that 2.8 million of them had been displaced by violence.  In Nigeria, home to 7 million of the 9 million people in need, 244,000 children in Borno State suffered from severe malnutrition, while in Niger, a single attack by Boko Haram in June had left more than 70,000 people displaced in Bosso town.

He went on to spotlight the existence of more than 60,000 registered displaced persons and tens of thousands of unregistered ones in Chad’s Lac region, adding that in the Far North region of Cameroon, the number of people needing immediate food aid had quadrupled to more than 200,000 since June 2015.  Indeed, the Lake Chad Basin was as much a humanitarian catastrophe as a security priority.  “I have been shouting into what feels like an empty room to highlight this dire situation,” he said, calling for increased international attention to the region.  “It is within our — and your — power to be relevant.”

In the ensuing debate, speakers agreed that the Lake Chad Basin faced multiple interconnected challenges:  poverty, terrorism, organized crime and climate change among them.  Many commended regional countries for their leadership in combating Boko Haram and advocated increased support for the Multinational Joint Task Force in the form of training, capacity-building, equipment and logistics.  On that point, the Russian Federation’s representative said it should not be forgotten that Boko Haram had declared allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), which had established itself in Libya.  Such links made it necessary to address that urgent threat in Africa.

Speakers also expressed concern over the alarming humanitarian situation, with France’s representative saying that his country’s President had launched the Lake Chad initiative.  Egypt’s representative said that addressing the crisis was a top international priority, adding that his country was prepared to step up its cooperation with Governments in the region.  He called for a holistic approach to address political, military, humanitarian and development challenges.

The representative of the United States said the need for robust military efforts to combat Boko Haram was critical, given the group’s ability to move across borders.  Noting her country’s contributions, she urged more Member States to step up while emphasizing the need to respect human rights.  When security forces rounded up civilians and carried out torture and scorched earth tactics, they alienated those whose support was crucial, she cautioned.  More must be also done to address the region’s dire humanitarian situation.  “We have to plan the long game in countering violent extremism” while at the same time keeping people alive “in the here and now”.

Senegal’s representative said the drastic shrinking of Lake Chad, together with climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources, had left people vulnerable, especially to terrorist groups like Boko Haram.  Regional countries needed more support to deal with security, humanitarian and sustainable development challenges.

Along similar lines, Angola’s representative said that shifting climate patterns, diversion of water and increasing demand had impacted Lake Chad’s size.  The Basin was no longer able to provide livelihoods and the related poverty and joblessness had created fertile conditions for radicalism and terrorism.

Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, Spain, China, Ukraine, Malaysia, Venezuela, Uruguay, New Zealand and Japan.

The meeting began at 10:03 a.m. and ended at 12:02 p.m.

Briefings

JEFFREY FELTMAN, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said that despite commendable efforts, Boko Haram still threatened regional stability, adding that countries of the Lake Chad Basin faced a serious humanitarian crisis.  Sexual and gender-based violence among the displaced had been reported, he said, emphasizing that concerned States must ensure accountability for serious human rights violations by their national forces.  States must also ensure the protection of civilians and respect for due process when dealing with persons arrested for Boko Haram-related charges.  Children in particular should be treated as victims and dealt with in accordance with international standards of juvenile justice, he emphasized.

The economic impact of the crisis had been devastating, he continued, noting that high youth unemployment provided Boko Haram with fertile recruitment ground.  Military operations must complement long-term development interventions that would include addressing the effects of climate change.  Welcoming the efforts of the Lake Chad Basin countries to combat Boko Haram, he said the Multinational Joint Task Force had recaptured 80 per cent of the territory previously under the group’s control, but it faced a severe lack of funding.  Only $250 million had been pledged at an African Union donors’ conference held in Addis Ababa on 1 February and even less had been disbursed, he noted.  Success for the Multinational Joint Task Force also depended on timely and actionable intelligence as well as specialized counter-terrorism skills and equipment.

He went on to state that the Lake Chad Basin counties were bearing financial responsibility for combating Boko Haram and were increasingly frustrated by delays in providing international support to the Multinational Joint Task Force.  Urging the international community to support it by mobilizing political, logistical and financial support in a flexible manner, he stressed:  “A military approach, while essential, will not bring an end to the Boko Haram threat.”  Root causes — including the grievances of marginalized communities — must also be addressed.  “Lake Chad Basin countries need our support to help ensure that military operations are followed with stabilization measures and restoration of State authority.”

Some noteworthy recommendations that had emerged from a regional security summit held in Abuja, Nigeria, underscored the impact of climate change, he noted.  The United Nations stood ready to support the Lake Chad Basin countries, and encouraged leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to adopt a common regional strategy to address the crisis, and the Council’s support would help to underscore the urgency of the matter.

STEPHEN O’BRIEN, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, emphasized that the region, host to Africa’s fastest-growing displacement crisis, needed the Council’s urgent attention.  Violence by Boko Haram had led to massive forced displacement, while boundless insecurity had deepened the fragility of a region already impacted by unpoliceable borders, environmental degradation — including the drying up of Lake Chad itself — and the world’s highest population growth.  Across the Basin — spanning parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon — more than 9 million people were in need of assistance, he said, citing United Nations estimates while noting that some 2.8 million of them had been displaced by violence.

He went on to report that while many lived in camps amid grim conditions, the vast majority were living with host communities which were themselves among the world’s poorest people.  Hundreds of thousands of farmers had missed three years of planting, and the disruption of trade routes had left 5.2 million people severely food-insecure.  He said that while the people of the Lake Chad Basin were used to coping with extreme hardship, he had never heard such desperation in 37 years of travelling in the region.  “This is a new terror,” he added.  Some 1.7 million displaced children risked being forcibly recruited by Boko Haram, while gender-based violence and sexual exploitation were widespread.

“Nigeria is bearing the brunt of the crisis,” he continued, pointing out that 7 million of the region’s 9 million people in need lived in that country.  While the Nigerian army had regained control of a number of towns in Borno State and aid agencies had been able to access new areas, Nigerian authorities had declared a nutrition emergency last month.  “We have no time to lose,” he emphasized, noting that 244,000 children in Borno State alone were suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and almost one in five risked death in the course of 2016.

Turning to the other Lake Chad Basin countries, he said a single attack by Boko Haram in June had left more than 70,000 people displaced in Bosso town, Niger, bringing the total number of displaced in the Diffa region to more than 160,000.  Needs were also dire in Chad’s Lac region, where more than 60,000 people were registered as displaced and tens of thousands of others were unregistered.  In the Far North region of Cameroon, the number of people requiring immediate food aid had quadrupled to more than 200,000 since June 2015.

Humanitarian actors had scaled-up their efforts and taken a regional approach, he said, recalling that last week, humanitarian country teams in Cameroon and Nigeria had partnered in providing cross-border assistance to Banki, Nigeria, where 20,000 internally displaced persons had been cut off from aid since last year.  Such urgent efforts must be complemented with increased development assistance.  The Basin was as much a humanitarian catastrophe as a security priority, he said, emphasizing that protection must be at the core of the humanitarian response.  During the Regional Protection Dialogue held in June, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger had agreed on actions to take in response to the most urgent needs of refugees, internally displaced persons and others.

Despite the best efforts, however, the means to support the humanitarian response did not match the needs, he stressed, pointing out that the 2016 humanitarian response plan for Nigeria was only 28 per cent funded.  However, a united call for $221 million between July and September to address life-saving needs had been made, he said, welcoming the contributions made after the release of a 90-day plan.  They added to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) allocation of $13 million for Nigeria and the nearly $90 million already provided to the Basin since 2015.

“I have been shouting into what feels like an empty room to highlight this dire situation in the Lake Chad Basin,” he said, underlining the need for increased international attention to the issue.  Apart from providing aid and protection, political efforts were needed to address the root causes of violence, as were efforts with development partners to address the drivers of vulnerability.  Recounting his visit to a camp in Konduga, Nigeria, hosting 1,600 displace persons, he said people were looking to the United Nations for help.  “It is within our — and your — power to be relevant,” he said, underscoring the need for determination to find the means.

Statements

MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) quoted a news photographer’s blog post about a camp for 16,000 displaced people in Nigeria’s Borno State: “You can practically taste the despair”, saying that the humanitarian nightmare was the direct consequence of Boko Haram’s actions.  Today was a chance to refocus attention on the crisis.  Millions needed humanitarian assistance, but “for many, I fear we are simply too late.”  Calling for strong United Nations leadership to coordinate the international effort, he said the international community and Governments in the region must, meanwhile, redouble their efforts to help the Organization scale up urgently needed support, “and that means putting our hands in our pockets”.  The United Kingdom was considering where it could do more and hoped others around the Council table would do the same, he said.  Protection of civilians must be at the centre of the United Nations response and it was vital that displaced people return home only when it was safe to do so.  Addressing the root causes of the crisis meant stopping the conflict, and defeating Boko Haram would require a comprehensive approach with the protection and empowerment of women at its centre.  It must also offer something the extremists could never provide — the rule of law.  Any action against Boko Haram must be taken in full compliance with human rights standards, he emphasized.

IHAB MOUSTAFA AWAD MOUSTAFA (Egypt) said the Sahel region and the Lake Chad Basin faced many interconnected challenges, including insecurity in Libya, organized crime, terrorism and climate change.  Egypt supported all efforts by the Multinational Joint Task Force to combat Boko Haram and commended the leadership of countries in the region in countering the threat posed by the group, he said.  While the Task Force had carried out its operation in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law, it still needed support from the international community, particularly in terms of training, capacity-building, equipment and logistics.  Urging all partners to honour the pledges they had made in Addis Ababa, he expressed concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and appealed for a holistic approach that would address political, military, humanitarian and developmental challenges.  Dealing with the humanitarian crisis meant putting it at the top of the international community’s list of priorities, he said.  It required international solidarity and Egypt was prepared to step up its cooperation with Governments in the region.

ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said that environmental degradation, security threats and a huge humanitarian crisis were occurring against a backdrop of extreme poverty.  The Lake Chad Basin’s resources benefitted 20 million people, but shifting climate patterns and diversion of water amid increasing demand had impacted the lake’s size.  Despite national and regional efforts to manage its shrinking resources, the Lake Chad Basin Commission charged with regulating use of its waters had not improved replenishment.  One project had the potential to radically change the Basin, and regional countries should strengthen the political will required to mobilize the international community, which should consider extending support to that project because the region risked becoming a hotbed of conflict.  Noting that the Basin was no longer able to provide livelihoods, he said poverty and joblessness had created conditions for radicalism and terrorism.  A regional approach would be the most effective in denying safe havens to groups like Boko Haram, which were intensifying their violence, making it imperative for the international community to support the Multinational Joint Task Force.  The scale of the crisis called for a renewed sense of urgency, and it was crucial that the Basin countries continue joint efforts to address the many related challenges, he said, voicing support for regional and international efforts to rehabilitate Lake Chad.

ALEXIS LAMEK (France) said Boko Haram was far from being defeated and more than 20 million people were under threat.  Some 2.8 million people had been displaced, a number three times greater than that of two years ago.  People needed food, water, health care, protection and education.  France supported the Multinational Joint Task Force, as well as efforts by regional countries to fight Boko Haram, he said, adding that it had provided logistical support to Chad and Niger in addition to training Cameroonian forces.  Ongoing military operations had been effective, he said, noting that Boko Haram had withdrawn into safe havens.  Successes had also been seen thanks to efforts by Chadian and Nigerian military forces, he noted, urging support for offensives by regional countries.  The fight must also involve development policies, without which Boko Haram would continue to flourish.

FODÉ SECK (Senegal), noting that water management was a main priority of his country’s foreign policy, said the drastic shrinking of Lake Chad, together with climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources, had left the region’s people more vulnerable while exacerbating conflicts.  The region had become fertile ground for violent extremists and terrorist groups, with Boko Haram first and foremost among them.  Countries in the region needed more support to deal with security, humanitarian and sustainable development challenges, he said, emphasizing that displaced people, most of them women and children, were exposed to every possible risk, including exploitation and abuse.  Besides military efforts, an appropriate humanitarian response was needed, he said, commending the various actions taken in response to urgent humanitarian needs.  He also welcomed the June regional dialogue on ways to improve civilian protection that had taken place in Abuja.

SAMANTHA POWER (United States) said the crisis deserved greater attention from the Council and the broader international community.  Recalling that she had led a delegation to the region in April, she said virtually everyone she had met in camps for displaced people had had a horror story to recount.  They included a 14-year-old girl from Cameroon who had become a Boko Haram slave to save her family from being massacred.  No longer in captivity, she would still carry the guild and trauma she had suffered for the rest of her life.  The need for robust military efforts to combat Boko Haram was critical, given the group’s ability to move across borders, but there was insufficient support for countries on the front lines of the fight.  Noting the contributions of the United States, she urged more Member States to step up, emphasizing the need to respect human rights.  When security forces rounded up civilians, carried out torture and scorched earth tactics, they alienated those whose support was crucial.  More must be done to address the region’s dire humanitarian situation, she said, pointing out that humanitarian appeals were grossly underfunded.  “We have to plan the long game in countering violent extremism” by addressing its root causes while at the same time keeping people alive “in the here and now”, she said.

JUAN MANUEL GONZÁLEZ DE LINARES PALOU (Spain), noting that humanitarian crises in the Lake Chad Basin were becoming chronic, said that international cooperation in addressing them had been neither sufficient nor timely.  The situation arose from various factors, including a lack of State control over national territory, poverty, climate change, terrorism and violent extremism.  Echoing calls for regional cooperation in fighting Boko Haram, he emphasized that such operations must focus on the needs of girls and women, and on health and psychosocial services for survivors.  It was also important to recognize links to human trafficking networks and to pay attention to security in and around camps for the displaced.  The shrinking of Lake Chad had caused migration and displacement, and was fuelling violent extremism and terrorism, he said, voicing support for the proposal by the Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on examining the extent to which climate change was making people more vulnerable to terrorist groups.  He urged a focus on early-warning mechanisms and called for greater political will.

WU HAITAO (China) welcomed the significant progress made by the Multinational Joint Task Force and said the international community must support the anti-terrorism efforts of countries of Central and West Africa, including those of the Lake Chad Basin.  More cooperation was needed with regional and subregional organizations, including the African Union and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, he said, adding that the unique advantages of such organizations must be recognized.  Furthermore, there must be more humanitarian access to the region, he said, stressing the need to observe the principles of neutrality, impartiality, sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Regional countries must receive assistance to address the root causes of conflict and build capacities for economic and social development.

YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) expressed full support for all international initiatives to stabilize the region, and encouraged efforts to address all key drivers of conflict.  Humanitarian aid must be delivered wherever it was needed most, with Nigeria’s Borno State a vivid case in point.  With only 22 per cent of the $559 million United Nations humanitarian response plan financed so far, donors were encouraged to support the effort.  With Boko Haram undermining international and regional efforts to take recovery forward, confronting the group would require coherent national programmes against violent extremism.  Commending the results of the Second Regional Security Summit, held on 14 May in Abuja, he called on the Secretariat to help regional efforts as much as possible and to enhance cooperation with the Multinational Joint Task Force.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee’s upcoming high-level visit to the Lake Chad Basin should be aimed first and foremost at strengthening and promoting cooperation between the international community and the region, he said.

SITI HAJJAR ADNIN (Malaysia) said Boko Haram’s continuing ability to carry out large-scale attacks, and its pledge of allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), was the cause of much concern, and Malaysia was pleased that the Multinational Joint Task Force had undertaken operations against the group.  Welcoming measures to prevent attacks and reduce civilian targets, she said it was utterly abhorrent that one in five Boko Haram suicide bombers was a child.  The Task Force needed predictable and sustainable resources, she said, urging those able to do so to meet those needs.  Lost access to education for children was particularly worrying because it created a pool of potential recruits for terrorist and criminal groups, she warned, emphasizing that all children, including displaced ones, must continue their education.  She urged the Multinational Joint Task Force to give children special protection, noting that, once freed from Boko Haram’s ranks, they faced serious challenges in getting their lives back.  They were often stigmatized by their own communities and needed help, not to be ostracized and shamed.

RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) said that food insecurity, poverty, exclusion, drought and cross-border organized crime had compounded the threat posed by Boko Haram, leading to forced displacement.  Condemning Boko Haram’s actions, he said Venezuela would continue to support all Council efforts and initiatives to promote a sustainable solution to that security threat.  He demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all abductees, including those forcibly recruited.  The crisis in the Lake Chad Basin represented a debt that the United Nations owed to the region and it should step up its efforts, he said, adding that States should honour their commitments to ease the humanitarian situation.  Welcoming efforts by the Multinational Joint Task Force to fight Boko Haram, he voiced hope that regional countries would continue to coordinate their own efforts, emphasizing that anti-terrorism actions should be taken with respect for the principles of sovereignty and self-determination.

LUIS BERMÚDEZ (Uruguay) said the crisis in the Basin must be viewed from a comprehensive perspective, since it arose from situational and structural factors.  Security had been undermined by Boko Haram, food insecurity and the failure to meet basic needs.  Some 2.4 million people had been affected by Boko Haram, a striking comparison with Uruguay’s population of 3.5 million.  Urging recognition of efforts by the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), he said hunger and the lack of education, drinking water, security and medical facilities were factors underlying the crisis.  Noting that Boko Haram had engaged in human and ivory trafficking, he declared: “They behave as common criminal groups and we need to address this.”

VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) said Boko Haram’s declaration of allegiance to ISIL, which had established itself in Libya, should not be forgotten.  Such links made it necessary to respond to urgent and robust threats in Africa.  Concerned about Boko Haram’s preference for soft targets over direct clashes with Government forces, he said that resolving the refugee question would be impossible without eliminating the threat posed by the group.  That was an absolute priority.  Commending the efforts of the Multinational Joint Task Force so far, he emphasized that the “terrorist hydra” could only be overcome through collective efforts in Africa and elsewhere.  He also commended measures taken by the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) and other United Nations entities supporting the Task Force, adding that the Russian Federation would also be cooperating with the region.

PHILLIP TAULA (New Zealand) said Boko Haram’s actions were exacerbating an already difficult humanitarian situation, with the disruption of farming and herding contributing to a looming food crisis in north-east Nigeria.  Welcoming the gains made by the Multinational Joint Task Force, including the rescue of 2,300 abductees and the arrest of key Boko Haram members, he said New Zealand encouraged regional solutions to regional issues, describing the Task Force as a practical example of that.  Ensuring adequate funding for the Multinational Joint Task Force spoke to the deeper problem to fund regionally-led counter-terrorism and peace operations, he said, pointing out that his country had made, and would continue to make, financial contributions to African-led operations.  Besides defeating Boko Haram, it was necessary to address the conditions that had enabled extremism to take hold in the region, including political and economic marginalization, limited access to education, scarce employment and economic opportunities, and food insecurity.

KORO BESSHO (Japan), Council President for July, spoke in his national capacity, noting that 9.2 million people — “a population greater than that of New York City” — needed help urgently.  Their vulnerability would be compounded by the rainy season and a lean harvest.  Only through effective Multinational Joint Task Force operations could vulnerable communities gain access to humanitarian assistance.  The impact of Boko Haram violence had led to major local challenges, he said, noting that in Diffa, Niger, trading in hot peppers and dried fish had been banned for fear that the profits would benefit the group.  The growing of maize was also prohibited out of concern that Boko Haram fighters could find safe havens in maize fields.  The people of the Lake Chad Basin needed not only humanitarian assistance, but also extended State authority, credible governance, improved public administration and expanded security, he said, emphasizing that the international community must support their immediate and long-term needs.  Japan was ready to do its part.

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New Security Council Text Adapts Mandate of United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central African Republic

Resolution 2301 (2016) Spells out Immediate, Priority, Essential, Core Tasks

The Security Council today extended until 15 November 2017 the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), adapting it to the new circumstances prevailing in that country.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2301 (2016) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council decided that the Mission’s troop ceiling would remain at 10,750 military personnel (including 480 observers and staff officers); 2,080 police (including 400 individual police officers); and 108 corrections officers.  The mandate would be implemented on the basis of prioritizing tasks, in a phased manner when relevant.

By other terms of the text, the Council authorized French forces to use all necessary means to provide operational support to elements of MINUSCA from the date of adoption.

The Council decided that the Mission’s strategic objective was to support conditions conducive to sustainably reducing the presence of, and the threat posed by, armed groups, through a comprehensive approach, adopting a “proactive and robust” posture, without prejudice to basic peacekeeping principles.  Along those lines, MINUSCA’s immediate priority peacekeeping tasks would include protecting civilians, promoting and protecting human rights and facilitating a secure environment for the immediate and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance.

According to the text, MINUSCA’s core priority tasks would focus on supporting reconciliation and stabilization processes, extending State authority and preserving the Central African Republic’s territorial integrity.  The Mission would also provide strategic and technical advice on the design and implementation of a security-sector reform strategy, while supporting disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation programmes.  It would provide assistance for advancing the rule of law and combating impunity, and support efforts by national authorities to develop a strategy for tackling the illicit exploitation and trafficking of natural resources.

Further by the text, MINUSCA would support national and international justice and the rule of law through such essential tasks as helping to reinforce the independence of the judiciary and providing strategic, policy and technical advice on the design and implementation of a transitional justice strategy.

The Mission’s additional tasks would include seizing arms and related materiel transferred into the Central African Republic in violation of measures imposed under resolution 2127 (2013), according to the text.  The Council demanded that all militias and armed groups lay down their arms, cease violence and release children from their ranks, immediately and unconditionally.  It also urged the national authorities to address the presence and activity of such groups in the country through a comprehensive strategy prioritizing dialogue and the urgent implementation of an inclusive demobilization, reintegration and repatriation programme, to be implemented in coherence with security-sector reform, which would ensure civilian oversight of defence and national security forces, with support from the international community.

On the political front, the Council expressed its support for Faustin-Archange Touadéra as President of the Central African Republic, and welcomed the formation of the Government.  It urged the authorities to implement a genuine and inclusive reconciliation by addressing local grievances across the entire national territory.  Recalling the crucial role of civil society in ensuring that the political solution addressed the root causes of the conflict in the country, the Council underscored the importance of respect for the constitution so as to ensure the country’s long-term stabilization and development.

François Delattre (France), speaking after the action, said the Council’s unanimous adoption of the text sent the Mission and the Central African Republic a message of unity and support.  The text adapted MINSUCA’s mandate to new circumstances prevailing in the country, where the goal was stabilization, after a successful transition.  With many challenges ahead, the national authorities could count on MINUSCA, he said, pointing out that with 13,000 uniformed personnel plus a significant civilian component, the Mission would have the means to combat armed groups and others who attempted to derail its efforts.

Ambroisine Kpongo (Central African Republic) welcomed the renewal of MINUSCA’s mandate, saying the resolution reflected the level of ambition for the Mission.  Highlighting some of the text’s provisions, she said it was vital for MINUSCA to be active, or even proactive, in protecting civilians, whose security was still threatened by numerous armed criminal groups, even if the situation was no longer as it had been a few months ago.  She also welcomed the resolution’s focus on neutralizing armed groups as a strategic objective, and the extension of urgent temporary measures, which President Touadéra had requested, and which hopefully would be implemented decisively.

Noting that much had been accomplished in recent months, she said that, going forward, the main task would be to ensure a successful stabilization phase, with MINUSCA’s mandate adapted to new circumstances, adding that the Secretary-General’s proposals, reflected in the resolution, were a good starting point.  She recalled that, after the events of 1996 and the deployment of the first United Nations mission in the country, no serious analysis of the post-conflict situation had been conducted, and a period of calm had led to the idea that all was well.  If mistakes and relapses were to be avoided, and in order to make MINUSCA the last United Nations mission in the country, the new authorities must be given the means to pull the nation out of a state of destitution and psychosis, she emphasized.  “The Central African Republic is at a turning point in its history,” she said, adding that she was pleased to be able to count on the support of the United Nations and the Security Council.

The meeting began at 3:06 p.m. and ended at 3:18 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2301 (2016) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions and statements on the Central African Republic (CAR), in particular resolutions 2121 (2013), 2127 (2013), 2134 (2014), 2149 (2014), 2181 (2014), 2196 (2015), 2212 (2015), 2217 (2015), 2262 (2016), 2264 (2016), 2281 (2016), as well as resolution 2272 (2016), and its Presidential Statements S/PRST/2014/28 of 18 December 2014 and S/PRST/2015/17 of 20 October 2015,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the CAR, and recalling the importance of the principles of non-interference, good-neighbourliness and regional cooperation,

Reaffirming the basic principles of peacekeeping, including consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate; recognizing that the mandate of each peacekeeping mission is specific to the need and situation of the country concerned, and recalling, in this regard, its Presidential Statement S/PRST/2015/22 of 25 November 2015,

Recalling that the CAR Authorities have the primary responsibility to protect all populations in the CAR in particular from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,

Emphasizing that any sustainable solution to the crisis in the CAR should be CAR-owned, including the political process, and should prioritize reconciliation of the Central African people, through an inclusive process that involves men and women of all social, economic, political, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including, those displaced by the crisis,

Welcoming in this regard the joint action of some domestic religious leaders at the national level in trying to pacify relations and end violence between religious communities and noting the need to amplify their voices at the local level,

Noting with concern that while improving, the security situation in the CAR remains fragile, due to the continued presence of armed groups and other armed spoilers, as well as the ongoing violence, the lack of capacity of the national security forces, and the persistence of the root causes of the conflict,

Condemning the multiple violations of international humanitarian law and the widespread human rights violations and abuses, committed notably by both ex‑Seleka elements and militia groups, in particular the “anti-Balaka”,

Condemning also the recent and ongoing acts of violence and criminality in Bangui, including the kidnapping of CAR police by armed groups, as well as incidents in the interior of the country, particularly in Ngaoundaye and Bambari, which have caused displacement of local populations, as well as by the recent attacks and abductions perpetrated by the Lord’s Resistance Army in the southeast since the beginning of the year,

Recalling the submission of the report (S/2014/928) of the International Commission of Inquiry established by resolution 2127 (2013), noting with concern its finding that the main parties to the conflict, including ex-Seleka, the anti-Balaka, and elements from the CAR Armed Forces (FACA) who collaborated with armed groups committed violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses since 1 January 2013, that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing by elements of the anti-Balaka militia,

Condemning in the strongest terms all attacks and provocations against the United Nations Integrated Multidimensional Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) contingents and other international forces by armed groups or other perpetrators, underlining that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes, reminding all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law and urging the CAR Authorities to take all possible measures to ensure the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators,

Stressing the urgent and imperative need to end impunity in the CAR and to bring to justice perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law and of abuses and violations of human rights, underlining in this regard the need to bolster national accountability mechanisms, including the Special Criminal Court (SCC) and underlining its support for the work of the Independent Expert on human rights in the CAR,

Reiterating the primary responsibility of the national authorities to ensure a conducive environment for the effective and independent investigation, prosecution and adjudication of all cases,

Welcoming the commitment of the Secretary-General to enforce strictly his zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, expressing grave concern over numerous allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse reportedly committed by peacekeepers in the CAR, as well as by non-United Nations forces, stressing the urgent need for Troop- and Police-contributing countries and, as appropriate, MINUSCA, to promptly investigate those allegations in a credible and transparent manner and for those responsible for such criminal offences or misconduct to be held to account, and further stressing the need to prevent such exploitation and abuse and to improve how these allegations are addressed,

Emphasizing the fact that the current security situation in the CAR provides a conducive environment for transnational criminal activity, such as that involving arms trafficking and the use of mercenaries as well as a potential breeding ground for radical networks,

Expressing grave concern at the threat to peace and security in the CAR arising from the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons, and the use of such weapons against civilians,

Acknowledging in this respect the important contribution to the peace, stability or security of the CAR, of the Council-mandated sanctions regime renewed by resolution 2262 (2016), including its provisions related to the arms embargo, and its provisions related to individuals or entities designated by the Committee as engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the CAR,

Reiterating that illicit trade, exploitation and smuggling of natural resources including gold, diamonds and wildlife poaching and trafficking continues to threaten the peace and stability of the CAR,

Expressing concern about reported travel by individuals designated pursuant to UNSC resolution 2127 (2013) and noting the critical importance of effective implementation of the sanctions regime, including the key role that neighbouring States, as well as regional and subregional organizations, can play in this regard and encouraging efforts to further enhance cooperation,

Reiterating its serious concern at the dire humanitarian situation in the CAR, and emphasizing in particular the humanitarian needs of the more than 418,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), of the approximately 36,000 civilians trapped in enclaves, and of the more than 480,000 refugees in neighbouring countries, a large number of whom are Muslim, and further expressing concern at the consequences of the flow of refugees on the situation in Chad, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as other countries of the region,

Recalling the responsibility of the CAR Authorities to protect and promote the right to freedom of movement of all people in the CAR, including IDPs, without distinction, their freedom to choose where to reside, and to comply with their right to return to their own country or to leave in order to seek asylum in other States,

Reiterating also its appreciation for the efforts of the International Contact Group on the CAR, and encouraging all stakeholders to pursue their efforts,

Welcoming the holding of, and local participation in, grassroots consultations throughout the country between 21 January and 8 March 2015, which enabled thousands of people in the CAR to express their views on the future of their country, and the holding of the Bangui Forum in May 2015, during which the Republican Pact for Peace, National Reconciliation and Reconstruction as well as agreements on the principles for disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation (DDR/R), justice and reconciliation, and security sector reform (SSR), and on the commitment by armed groups to end the recruitment and use of children and to release all children from their ranks, were adopted,

Welcoming the peaceful organization of a constitutional referendum on 13 December 2015 and legislative and presidential elections in December 2015, February and March 2016, as well as the inauguration of the President Faustin-Archange Touadéra on 30 March 2016,

Recalling the need for an inclusive, gender-sensitive and effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process (DDR) as well as repatriation (DDRR) in the case of foreign fighters, including children formerly associated with armed forces and groups, while respecting the need to fight against impunity,

Welcoming the successful conduct of pre-DDR activities which have contributed to reduce the presence of members of armed groups,

Underlining the need to support national, and to coordinate international, efforts towards the transformation of the security sector in the CAR and stressing the important role of the internal security forces (police and gendarmerie) in the restoration of security in the CAR,

Welcoming in this regard the work done by the European Union military advice mission (EUMAM-RCA), which provided, at the request of the CAR Authorities, expert advice on reforming the FACA and welcoming also the launch of an EU training mission (EUTM) which will extend the support provided to reform the FACA into multi-ethnic, professional, and representative armed forces, as indicated in the letter of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign and Security policy dated 30 May 2016,

Recalling its resolutions on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, including 2286 (2016) and 1894 (2009); its resolutions on Children and Armed Conflict including 2225 (2015) and its resolutions on Women, Peace and Security including 2106 (2013) and 2242 (2015), and calling upon all parties in the CAR to engage with the Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict and the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict,

Expressing its concern that children have continued to be victims of abuses committed by armed elements of the ex-Seleka and anti-Balaka as well as other armed groups including the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and that women and girls continue to be violently targeted and victims of sexual and gender-based violence in the CAR,

Emphasizing that the continued role and contribution of the region, including the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) as well as the African Union (AU) remains critical for the promotion of lasting peace and stability in the CAR, reiterating its appreciation for their ongoing efforts in this regard, and welcoming the deployment of AU advisors to support the victims of sexual violence in the CAR,

Welcoming the strong engagement of the European Union (EU) and the positive engagement of other International Organizations such as the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for the CAR, and further welcoming the bilateral contributions of Member States to the stabilization of the CAR,

Calling on international partners to assist the CAR Authorities in building the institutional and operational capacities of national police, gendarmerie and customs authorities to effectively monitor the borders and points of entry, including to support the implementation of the measures renewed and modified by paragraph 1 of resolution 2262 (2016) and the disarmament and repatriation of foreign armed elements,

Calling on international partners to urgently provide financial contributions to support the reform and stabilization programmes, including the national dialogue and reconciliation, the extension of State authority, accountability, DDR/R and SSR processes, and the restoration of the judicial and penal chains in order to fight against impunity, in view of the international support conference to be held in Brussels in November 2016,

Stressing the need to implement MINUSCA’s mandate, based on the prioritization of tasks, and, when relevant, in a phased manner,

Welcoming the Special Report of the Secretary-General of 22 June 2016 (S/2016/565) on the Strategic Review of MINUSCA,

Taking note of the letters sent by CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra to the Security Council dated 9 May 2016 and 17 May 2016 and by which the President called for the extension of the urgent temporary measures created by resolution 2149 (2014), and the support of the United Nations in supporting the sustainable reduction of the presence of armed groups through a comprehensive approach,

Determining that the situation in the CAR continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

Political process

“1.   Expresses its support to President Faustin-Archange Touadéra as President of the Central African Republic and welcomes the formation of the CAR Government;

“2.   Urges the CAR authorities to urgently implement a genuine and inclusive reconciliation in the CAR, including by addressing marginalization and local grievances of all the components of society over the whole territory of the CAR, including through national policies on economic development and civil service recruitment, and to promote reconciliation initiatives at the regional, national, prefectural and local levels, including through local elections;

“3.   Also calls upon the CAR authorities to ensure that national policies and legislative frameworks adequately protect the human rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), including freedom of movement, and supports durable solutions for IDPs and refugee populations, including the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return to one’s home or local integration or resettlement;

“4.   Recalls the crucial role of civil society in the peace and reconciliation process to ensure that the political solution addresses the root causes of the conflict;

“5.   Underscores the importance of respect for the Constitution to ensure the long-term stabilization and development of the CAR;

“6.   Demands that all militias and armed groups lay down their arms, cease all forms of violence and destabilizing activities, and release children from their ranks, immediately and unconditionally;

“7.   Encourages the submission by Member States of listing requests to the Committee established by paragraph 57 of resolution 2127 (2013), including detailed evidentiary support for each request, of individuals and entities engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the CAR, including acts that threaten or impede the political process, or the stabilization and reconciliation process, or that fuel violence;

“8.   Urges the CAR authorities to address the presence and activity of armed groups in the CAR by implementing a comprehensive strategy that prioritizes dialogue and the urgent implementation of an inclusive DDR/R programme, to be implemented in coherence with SSR which ensures civilian oversight of defence and national security forces, with the support of the international community;

“9.   Urges also the CAR authorities to adopt and implement a National Security Policy and a comprehensive strategy on SSR, including a strategy for a comprehensive reform of both the FACA, and the internal security forces (police and gendarmerie), in order to put in place professional, ethnically representative and regionally balanced national defence and internal security forces, including through the adoption and implementation of appropriate vetting procedures of all defence and security personnel, including human rights vetting, as well as measures to absorb elements of armed groups meeting rigorous eligibility and vetting criteria, and requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on progress taken in this regard as part of his regular reporting cycle;

“10.  Calls on the CAR authorities to take concrete steps, without delay and as a matter of priority, to strengthen justice institutions and to fight impunity, in order to contribute to stabilization and reconciliation, including, inter alia, by restoring administration of the judiciary, criminal justice and penitentiary systems throughout the country, by demilitarizing the prisons and gradually replace the FACA by recruiting civilian prison personnel and by ensuring access to fair and equal justice for all, and to swiftly operationalize the Special Criminal Court (SCC);

“11.  Also calls on the CAR authorities to continue their efforts to restore the effective authority of the State over the whole territory of the CAR, including by redeploying State administration in the provinces, and ensuring the timely payment of salaries to civil servants and Security forces, with the objective of ensuring stable, accountable, inclusive and transparent governance;

“12.  Encourages the CAR Authorities, with the support of the international community, in particular with International Financial Institutions (IFI) leading international efforts, and based on critical peace and State building goals, to continue consolidating public financial management and accountability, including revenue collection, expenditure controls, public procurement and concession practices building on relevant international experiences and in a manner that allows it to meet the expenses related to the functioning of the State, implement early recovery plans, and revitalize the economy, and fosters national ownership and respects the sovereignty of the CAR;

“13.  Further calls on Member States, international and regional organizations to urgently provide support to the CAR Authorities for the reforms, for the restoration of the State authority over the whole territory, including contributions for the payment of salaries and other needs, in addition to support for the SSR and DDR/R programmes and for the restoration of the judiciary and the criminal justice system including the SCC, and notes that the pledging conference to be held in Brussels in November 2016 will provide an opportunity to do so;

“14.  Welcomes the continued engagement of the United Nations, including the Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), neighbouring States, the European Union, the International Contact Group (ICG), the Group of Eight (G8‑RCA), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and other international partners and donors in support of the stabilization of the CAR;

“15.  Takes note of the development of a framework of mutual accountability between the CAR authorities and international partners under the leadership of the CAR Government, with the aim of enhancing transparency and accountability as well as the coherence and sustained support of the CAR’s international partners in support of agreed national priorities;

“16.  Stresses in this context the valuable role of the Peace-building Commission (PBC) in bringing strategic advice and fostering a more coherent, coordinated and integrated approach to international peace-building efforts, recognizes the active role of the Kingdom of Morocco, and encourages continued coordination with the PBC and other relevant international organizations and institutions in support of CAR’s long term peace building needs;

Human rights, including child protection and sexual violence in conflict

“17.  Reiterates the urgent and imperative need to hold accountable all perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, irrespective of their status or political affiliation, and reiterates that some of those acts may amount to crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), to which the CAR is a State party;

“18.  Notes the decision made by the Prosecutor of the ICC on 24 September 2014 to open, following the request of the national authorities, an investigation into alleged crimes committed since 2012, and welcomes the ongoing cooperation of the CAR Authorities in this regard;

“19.  Calls upon all parties to armed conflict in the CAR, including ex‑Seleka elements and anti-Balaka elements, to end all violations and abuses committed against children, in violation of applicable international law, including those involving their recruitment and use, rape and sexual violence, killing and maiming, abductions and attacks on schools and hospitals and further calls upon the CAR Authorities to investigate swiftly alleged violations and abuses in order to hold perpetrators accountable and to ensure that those responsible for such violations and abuses are excluded from the security sector;

“20.  Reiterates its demands that all parties protect and consider as victims those children who have been released or otherwise separated from armed forces and armed groups, and emphasizes the need to pay particular attention to the protection, release and reintegration of all children associated with armed forces and armed groups;

“21.  Calls upon all parties to armed conflict in the CAR, including ex‑Seleka and anti-Balaka elements, to end sexual and gender-based violence, and further calls upon the CAR Authorities to investigate swiftly alleged abuses in order to hold perpetrators accountable, and to develop a structured and comprehensive framework to address sexual violence in conflict, in line with its resolutions 1960 (2010) and 2106 (2013), to ensure that those responsible for such crimes are excluded from the security sector and prosecuted, and to facilitate immediate access for victims of sexual violence to available services;

Peacekeeping Operation

“22.  Commends the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Parfait Onanga-Anyanga and takes note of the increased deployment of MINUSCA’s military component, and encourages increased and flexible deployments of police and civilian components throughout the country;

“23.  Decides to extend the mandate of MINUSCA until 15 November 2017;

“24.  Decides that MINUSCA has an authorized troop ceiling of 10,750 military personnel, including 480 Military Observers and Military Staff Officers, 2,080 police personnel, including 400 Individual Police Officers, as well as 108 corrections officers, and recalls its intention to keep this number under continuous review in particular for the additional troops authorized by resolutions 2212 (2015) and 2264 (2016);

“25.  Reiterates the importance of current and future Troop- and Police- contributing countries (T/PCCs) providing troops and police with adequate capabilities and equipment in order to enhance the capacity of MINUSCA to operate effectively and requests the Secretary-General to accelerate the recruitment of qualified staff, who have the competencies, education, work experience and language skills to adequately and effectively implement the tasks enumerated in paragraphs 32 to 35 below;

“26.  Requests the Secretary-General to take all possible steps, including through the full use of existing authorities and at his discretion, to maximize MINUSCA’s operational capacity and ability to discharge its mandate, with a specific focus on priority areas, over the entire territory of the CAR, including through enhancing MINUSCA’s personnel, mobility assets and capabilities for gathering timely, reliable and actionable information on threats to civilians and the analytical tools to use it, while continuing to strengthen the performance of the Mission;

“27.  Notes the progress of all troop and police contributing countries to meet UN standards, in particular former International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA) TCCs/PCCS, and calls on them to immediately finalize the procurement and deployment of all required contingent-owned equipment, in order to comply with United Nations standards for troops and police;

“28.  Further urges the Secretariat to continue to explore, on the basis of need, the use of specialized police teams together with specialized required equipment, for police and gendarmerie capacity building and development and operational support;

“29.  Requests that the Secretary-General and his Special Representative take the necessary steps to reinforce the capacity of the police component of MINUSCA, within the authorized Force ceiling, and requests the enhanced deployment of the police component throughout the CAR and the recruitment and deployment of specialized personnel;

“30.  Urges MINUSCA and all relevant United Nations bodies, to ensure unhindered access for the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013), in particular to persons, documents and sites within their control in order for the Panel to execute its mandate;

“31.  Decides that MINUSCA’s mandate should be implemented based on a prioritization of tasks established in paragraphs 33 to 36 of this resolution, and, when relevant, in a phased manner, and further requests the Secretary-General to reflect this prioritization in the deployment and in the allocation of resources to the mission;

“32.  Authorizes MINUSCA to take all necessary means to carry out its mandate within its capabilities and areas of deployment;

“33.  Decides that the mandate of MINUSCA shall include the following immediate priority tasks:

(a)  Protection of civilians

(i)   To protect, without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the CAR authorities and the basic principles of peacekeeping in line with S/PRST/2015/22, the civilian population from threat of physical violence, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, especially through maintaining a proactive deployment, a mobile and flexible posture, and active patrolling, including in areas of displacement and eventual return as well as at risk communities, while mitigating risks to civilians posed by its military and police operations;

(ii)  To provide specific protection for women and children affected by armed conflict, including through the deployment of Child Protection Advisers, Women Protection Advisers and Gender Advisers;

(iii) To identify and report threats to and attacks against civilians and implement prevention and response plans and strengthen civil-military cooperation;

(iv)  To fully implement and deliver, in close consultation with humanitarian and human rights organizations and other relevant partners, the mission-wide protection of civilians strategy;

(b)  Promotion and protection of human rights

(i)   To monitor, help investigate, and report publicly and to the Security Council on violations of international humanitarian law and on violations and abuses of human rights committed throughout the CAR, including undertaking a mapping of such violations and abuses since 2003 to inform efforts to fight impunity;

(ii)  To monitor, help investigate and report on violations and abuses committed against children and women, including rape and other forms of sexual violence in armed conflict;

(iii) To assist the CAR authorities in their efforts to protect and promote human rights and prevent violations and abuses, including through the establishment of a national human rights commission and to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations;

(c)  Facilitate the creation of a secure environment for the immediate, full, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance

To improve coordination with humanitarian actors, in order to facilitate the creation of a secure environment for the immediate, full, safe and unhindered, civilian-led delivery of humanitarian assistance, in accordance with United Nations guiding humanitarian principles and relevant provisions of international law, and for the voluntary safe, dignified and sustainable return or local integration or resettlement of internally displaced persons or refugees in close coordination with humanitarian actors;

(d)  Protection of the United Nations

To protect the United Nations personnel, installations, equipment and goods and ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel;

“34.  Decides that MINUSCA’s strategic objective is to support the creation of conditions conducive to the sustainable reduction of the presence of, and threat posed by, armed groups through a comprehensive approach and a proactive and robust posture without prejudice to the basic principles of peacekeeping, that combines and includes the following core priority tasks:

(a)  Support for the reconciliation and stabilization political processes, the extension of State authority and the preservation of territorial integrity

(i)   To provide good offices and technical expertise in support of efforts to address the root causes of conflict, in particular in mediation and reconciliation processes, inclusive national dialogue, transitional justice and conflict-resolution mechanisms, working with relevant regional and local bodies and religious leaders, while ensuring the full and effective participation of women in line with the CAR action plan on Women, Peace and Security;

(ii)  To support efforts of the CAR authorities to address marginalization and local grievances, including through dialogue with the armed groups, civil society leaders including women and youth representatives, and by assisting national, prefectoral and local authorities to foster confidence among communities;

(iii) To support a gradual handover of security of key officials, and static guard duties of national institutions, to the CAR security forces, in coordination with the CAR Authorities, and based on the risks on the ground;

(iv)  To advise the government in its engagement with neighbouring countries, the ECCAS, and the AU, in consultation with UNOCA;

(v)   To promote and support the rapid extension of State authority over the entire territory of the CAR, including by supporting the immediate redeployment of police and gendarmerie in priority areas and main supply routes, which would contribute to the development of stable security institutions in more remote areas;

(vi)  To reinforce co-location of MINUSCA with vetted and trained national police and gendarmerie in agreed priority areas, as part of the deployment of the territorial administration and other rule of law authorities, for increasing State presence in these priority areas outside of Bangui;

(vii) To help the CAR authorities in developing and implementing a nationally owned strategy to address illegal taxation and illicit exploitation of natural resources related to the presence of armed groups;

(viii)      To actively seize, confiscate and destroy, as appropriate, the weapons and ammunitions of armed elements, including all militias and other non-state armed groups, who refuse or fail to lay down their arms;

(b)  Security Sector Reform (SSR)

(i)   To provide strategic and technical advice to the CAR authorities to design and implement a strategy for the SSR, taking into account the work done by EUMAM-RCA and in close coordination with EUTM-RCA, and with the aim of ensuring coherence of the SSR process, including through a clear delineation of responsibilities of the FACA, the internal security forces, and other uniformed entities, as well as the democratic control of both defence and internal security forces;

(ii)  To support the CAR authorities in developing an approach to the vetting of defence and security elements (FACA, police and gendarmerie) which includes human rights vetting, in particular to promote accountability of violations of international and domestic law amongst security forces and in the context of any integration of demobilized armed groups elements into security sector institutions;

(iii)      To take a leading role in supporting the CAR authorities on the reform and development of the police and the gendarmerie, through the design and implementation of a capacity-building and development plan, undertaken pursuant to an overall security sector reform strategy, and by providing technical assistance, in close coordination with other technical assistance providers, to the CAR Government;

(iv)  To support the CAR Government in developing an incentive structure for police and gendarmerie and the selection, recruitment, vetting and training of police and gendarmerie to include at least 500 new police and gendarmerie elements, with the support of donors and the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), taking into account the need to recruit women, and in full compliance with the UN Human rights due diligence policy (HRDDP);

(v)   To coordinate the provision of technical assistance and training between the international partners in the CAR, in particular with EUTM-RCA, in order to ensure a clear distribution of tasks in the field of SSR, for the benefit of both the FACA and the CAR internal security forces (police and gendarmerie);

(vi)  To coordinate with the CAR authorities in designing a plan for the progressive, and coordinated re-operationalization of FACA and other internal security forces within the framework of the SSR programme and in compliance with the HRDDP, in close coordination with EUTM-RCA;

(c)  Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration (DDR) and Repatriation (DDRR)

(i)   To support the CAR Authorities in developing and implementing an inclusive and progressive programme for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and, in case of foreign elements, Repatriation (DDRR), of members of armed groups, based on the Principles of DDRR and Integration into the Uniformed Corps, signed at the Bangui Forum on 10 May 2015, while paying specific attention to the needs of children associated with armed forces and groups;

(ii)  To support the CAR authorities in undertaking an inclusive dialogue on community security and local development with members of armed groups and other national stakeholders, including representatives of local communities, with a view to addressing the root causes of conflict;

(iii) To support the CAR authorities and relevant civil society organizations in developing and implementing Community Violence Reduction programmes for members of armed groups non-eligible for participation in the national DDRR programme;

(iv)  To provide technical assistance to the CAR authorities in developing and implementing a national plan for the integration of eligible demobilized members of armed groups into the security and defence forces, in line with the broader SSR agenda;

(v)   To provide technical assistance to the CAR authorities in their development and operationalization of a national commission for Small Arms and Light Weapons to address civilian disarmament and the fight against the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons;

(vi)  To destroy, as appropriate, the weapons and ammunitions of disarmed combatants in keeping with its effort to seize and collect arms and related materiel the supply, sale or transfer of which violate the measures imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 2262 (2016);

(d)  Assistance to advance the rule of law and combat impunity

Urgent temporary measures:

(i)   To urgently and actively adopt, within the limits of its capacities and areas of deployment, at the formal request of the CAR Authorities and in areas where national security forces are not present or operational, urgent temporary measures on an exceptional basis and without creating a precedent and without prejudice to the agreed principles of peacekeeping operations, which are limited in scope, time-bound and consistent with the objectives set out in paragraphs 33, 34 (a) and 35 (a), to arrest and detain in order to maintain basic law and order and fight impunity;

(ii)  To pay particular attention, in implementing the urgent temporary measures in the conditions stated above, to those engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the CAR, including acts that threaten or impede the political process, or the stabilization and reconciliation process, or that fuel violence;

(iii) Requests the Secretary-General to continue to report to the Security Council any measures that may be adopted on this basis;

Fight against impunity, including the Special Criminal Court (SCC):

(iv)  To provide technical assistance to the CAR Authorities to identify, investigate and prosecute those responsible for crimes involving violations of international humanitarian law and of violations and abuses of human rights committed throughout the CAR so that they can be brought to justice, and to help prevent such violations and abuses;

(v)   To provide support and to coordinate international assistance to the justice and correctional institutions to reinstate the criminal justice system, within the framework of the United Nations global focal point on rule of law, in a manner that emphasizes civilian oversight, impartiality and the protection of human rights;

(vi)  To provide technical assistance to the CAR Authorities in partnership with other international partners, to operationalize of the SCC consistent with CAR laws and jurisdiction and in line with the CAR’s international humanitarian law and international human rights law obligations, with the aim of supporting the extension of State authority;

(vii) To provide technical assistance, in partnership with other international partners, and capacity building for the CAR authorities, in order to facilitate the functioning of the SCC, in particular in the areas of investigations, arrests, detention, criminal and forensic analysis, evidence collection and storage, recruitment and selection of personnel, court management, prosecution strategy and case development and the establishment of a legal aid system, as appropriate, as well as, to provide security for magistrates, including at the premises and proceedings of the SCC, and take measures for the protection of victims and witnesses, in line with the CAR’s international human rights obligations, including with respect to fair trials, and due process;

(viii)      To assist in the coordination and mobilization of bilateral and multilateral support to the operationalization and functioning of the SCC;

“35.  Further authorises MINUSCA to use its capacities to assist the CAR authorities for, and, where relevant, implement, the following essential tasks:

(a)  Support for national and international justice and the rule of law

(i)   To help reinforce the independence of the judiciary, build the capacities, and enhance the effectiveness and accountability of the national judicial and penitentiary system;

(ii)  To help build the capacities of the national human rights institution coordinating with the Independent Expert on human rights as appropriate;

(iii) without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the CAR authorities, to support the restoration and maintenance of public safety and the rule of law, including through apprehending and handing over to the CAR authorities, consistent with international law, those in the country responsible for crimes involving serious human rights violations and abuses and serious violations of international humanitarian law so that they can be brought to justice, and through cooperation with States of the region as well as the ICC in cases of crimes falling within its jurisdiction;

(iv)  To provide strategic, policy and technical advice to the CAR authorities to design and implement a comprehensive strategy for transitional justice;

(b)  Illicit exploitation and trafficking of natural resources

To support the CAR authorities to develop a nationally-owned strategy to tackle the illicit exploitation and trafficking networks of natural resources which continue to fund and supply armed groups in the CAR taking into account, where appropriate, the reports of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013) and the decisions of the Kimberley Process (KP), with the aim of extending the State authority over the entire territory and its resources;

“36.  Further authorizes MINUSCA to carry out within its existing resources the following additional tasks:

“(a)  To coordinate international assistance as appropriate;

“(b)  To assist the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 57 of resolution 2127 (2013) and the Panel of Experts established by the same resolution, including by passing information relevant to the implementation of the mandate of the Committee and Panel of Experts;

“(c)  To monitor the implementation of the measures renewed and modified by paragraph 1 of resolution 2262 (2016), in cooperation with the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 2127 (2013), including by inspecting, as it deems necessary and when appropriate without notice, all arms and related materiel regardless of location, and advise the Authorities on efforts to keep armed groups from exploiting natural resources;

“(d)  To seize and collect arms and any related materiel the transfer of which to the CAR violates the measures imposed by paragraph 54 of resolution 2127 (2013) and to record and dispose of such arms and related materiel as appropriate;

“(e)  To provide transport for relevant State authorities in carrying out inspections and monitoring visits in key mining areas and sites as appropriate and on a case by case basis and when the situation allows, as a means to promote and support the rapid extension of the State authority over the entire territory;

“37.  Requests the Secretary-General to deploy and allocate personnel and expertise within MINUSCA to reflect the priorities identified by paragraph 33 to paragraph 36 of this resolution, and to continuously adjust this deployment according to the progresses made in the implementation of this mandate;

“38.  Encourages MINUSCA to develop measurable targets by which to assess progress against the core priority tasks set in pursuit of the strategic objective defined in paragraph 34 of this resolution;

“39.  Requests MINUSCA to continue using relevant and tailored communication tools, in particular radio, to help the local people better understand the mandate of the mission, its activities, and to build trust with the CAR citizens, parties to the conflict, regional and other international actors and partners on the ground as part of an effective political strategy;

“40.  Requests MINUSCA to enhance its operational coordination with the African Union Regional Task Force on the LRA (AU-RTF), as well as other entities involved in the implementation of the UN regional strategy to address the threat and impact of the activities of the LRA, and requests MINUSCA to share relevant information with the AU-RTF and with non-governmental organizations involved in tackling the threat of the LRA;

“41.  Calls upon the CAR Authorities and international partners and relevant United Nations entities, in coordination with MINUSCA and United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), to address the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation, and misuse of small arms and light weapons in the CAR, and to ensure the safe and effective management, storage and security of stockpiles of small arms and light weapons, and the collection and/or destruction of surplus, seized, unmarked, or illicitly held weapons and ammunition, and further stresses the importance of incorporating such elements into SSR and DDR/R programmes;

“42.  Encourages the CAR authorities to implement the Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition, Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair or Assembly signed at Kinshasa on April, 30 2010;

“43.  Urges the CAR, its neighbouring States and other member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) to cooperate at the regional level to investigate and combat regional criminal networks and armed groups involved in the illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources including gold, diamonds and wildlife poaching and trafficking;

“44.  Requests MINUSCA to take fully into account child protection as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the CAR authorities in ensuring that the protection of children’s rights is taken into account, inter alia, in DDR and DDR/R processes and in SSR in order to end and prevent violations and abuses against children;

“45.  Requests MINUSCA to take fully into account gender mainstreaming as a cross-cutting issue throughout its mandate and to assist the Government of the CAR in ensuring the full and effective participation, involvement and representation of women in all spheres and at all levels, including in stabilization activities, SSR and DDR and DDR/R processes, as well as in the national political dialogue and electoral processes, through, inter alia, the provision of gender advisers, and further requests enhanced reporting by MINUSCA to the Council on this issue;

“46.  Requests MINUSCA, within its existing resources and mandate, to assist the political efforts of the AU, ECCAS, UNOCA and the Group of Eight (G8‑RCA) to support the political process;

“47.  Requests the Secretary-General to conduct an electoral needs assessment mission in relation to the conduct of the local elections further to the request of the CAR National Electoral Authority, and to report to the Security Council on the findings of the assessment as part of his regular reporting to the Council;

“48.  Recalls its Presidential Statement S/PRST/2015/22 and its resolution 2272 (2016) and requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary measures to ensure full compliance of MINUSCA with the United Nations zero tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed through his reports to the Council about the Mission’s progress in this regard, and urges TCC/PCCs to take appropriate preventative action including pre-deployment awareness training, and to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel;

“49.  Requests MINUSCA to ensure that any support provided to non-United Nations security forces is provided in strict compliance with the HRDDP, and requests the Secretary-General to include information on any such support in his reports to the Council;

“50.  Emphasizes the need for MINUSCA, EUTM-RCA and the French forces operating in the CAR, while carrying out their mandate, to act in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the CAR and in full compliance with applicable international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law and recalls the importance of training in this regard;

MINUSCA Freedom of movement

“51.  Urges all parties in the CAR to cooperate fully with the deployment and activities of MINUSCA, in particular by ensuring its safety, security and freedom of movement with unhindered and immediate access throughout the territory of the CAR to enable MINUSCA to carry out fully its mandate in a complex environment including by helping to ensure the full and effective implementation of, and compliance with, the host country agreement (SOFA) by the CAR authorities;

“52.  Calls upon Member States, especially those in the region, to ensure the free, unhindered and expeditious movement to and from the CAR of all personnel, as well as equipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, including vehicles and spare parts, which are for the exclusive and official use of MINUSCA;

Humanitarian access

“53.  Demands that all parties allow and facilitate the full, safe, immediate and unhindered access for the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need, in particular to internally displaced persons, throughout the territory of the CAR, in accordance with the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance and relevant provisions of international law;

“54.  Further demands that all parties ensure respect and protection of all medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities;

Humanitarian appeal

“55.  Welcomes the humanitarian appeal, regrets its insufficient current funding, and calls on Member States and international and regional organizations to respond swiftly to this appeal through increased contributions and to ensure that all pledges are honoured in full and in a timely manner;

French Forces

“56.  Authorizes French forces, within the limits of their capacities and areas of deployment, from the commencement of the activities of MINUSCA until the end of MINUSCA’s mandate as authorized in this resolution, to use all necessary means to provide operational support to elements of MINUSCA from the date of adoption of this resolution, at the request of the Secretary-General, and requests France to report to the Council on the implementation of this mandate and to coordinate its reporting with that of the Secretary-General referred to in paragraph 58 of this resolution;

Review and Reporting

“57.  Requests the Secretary-General to review on a regular basis the conditions required for the transition, drawdown and withdrawal of the United Nations operation, in a manner which does not prejudice overall efforts to support long term objectives for peace and stability, and looks forward to receiving this information as part of this regular reporting to the Security Council;

“58.  Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council regularly informed of the situation in the CAR and the implementation of the mandate of MINUSCA, to report to the Council, on 1 October 2016, and then every four months from that date, and to include in his reports to the Council updates on and recommendations related to the dynamic implementation of MINUSCA’s mandated tasks, including by providing appropriate financial information, information on the security situation, the priority political elements as defined above on political progress, progress on mechanisms and capacity to advance governance and fiscal management, relevant information on the progress, promotion and protection of human rights and international humanitarian law as well as a review of the troop and police levels, force and police generation and deployment of all MINUSCA’s constituent elements;

“59.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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