New York – The UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson
urged the Security Council and the international community on Monday to take
decisive action to support the African Union-led peace operation in the Central
African Republic, until a UN peacekeeping can take over to stem the escalating
chaos in one of the world's poorest countries.
He warned of mass atrocities and even civil war if nothing
With a long history of chaos and coups, Central African
Republic has been in turmoil since a coalition of rebel groups joined forces to
overthrow the president in March.
Since seizing power, the rebels have plunged the country
into a state of near-anarchy. They have been accused by human rights groups of
committing scores of atrocities, including killings, rapes and conscription of
Eliasson said virtually the entire population — 4.6 million
people — is "enduring suffering beyond imagination," and a third of
the people are "in dire need of food, protection, health care, water,
sanitation and shelter."
Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented the council
a number of options for supporting the AU-led operation financially and
logistically as well as the option of transforming it into a UN peacekeeping operation.
Ban said he backed a UN force with nearly 11000 UN soldiers and police if the
In his briefing to the council, Eliasson said that the
situation in the Central African Republic was deteriorating so rapidly — with
the country becoming "a breeding ground for extremists and armed
groups" and never-before-seen sectarian violence between Muslims and
Christians — that a UN peacekeeping force may soon be the only option.
Peace and security
France, which has been asked by CAR to increase its small
force in the country, said it would circulate a draft Security Council
resolution to respond to the secretary-general's report late on Monday.
France's UN Ambassador Gerard Araud said it will call for
additonal support for the 3 000-strong AU-led force, which will increase to
about 3 600, and for support for the political transition to elections by February
2015. He said it also will ask the secretary-general for a report in three
months on possibly transforming the AU force into a UN peacekeeping force.
Mesmin Dembassa Worogagoi, the Central African Republic's
charge d'affaires, said "people aspire to one thing alone — peace and
security", and the UN support is essential to achieve this.
The transition leading to elections "has been
threatened by the great instability prevailing throughout our country", he
But Ahmad Allam-mi, secretary general of the Economic
Community of Central African States, said elections won't be enough.
"We must address the root causes of the conflict,"
he said, most importantly by establishing a legitimate and representative
democracy which serves all people rather than the interests of a clan, ethnic
group or religion.