New York: The United Nations moved on the diplomatic and military fronts today to douse the flames of conflict in South Sudan, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging the Government to free political prisoners to facilitate talks with rebels and the Security Council holding a crisis meeting on latest efforts to reinforce UN peacekeepers in the world’s newest country. “[It] is very, very dire situation,” Council President, Gérard Araud of France, told reporters after the meeting, in which Mr. Ban’s Special Representative, Hilde Johnson, briefed the 15-member body by video link from Juba, South Sudan’s capital, on the latest developments in the fighting, the mediation efforts of neighbours to stop, and the steps by humanitarian agencies to bring aid to those in need.
New York: A group of independent United Nations human rights experts urged all parties in the Central African Republic (CAR), where armed clashes have escalated in recent weeks leading to deaths and population displacement, to step back from the brink of all-out sectarian conflict. “The current shocking violence in the Central African Republic threatens to descend into a full-scale sectarian conflict between Christian and Muslim communities, but it can and must be halted now,” the experts said, while expressing grave concern over the escalating violence in the country and the rapidly deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation.
New York: I am pleased to take the floor on behalf of the African Union Member States on this important subject matter. We thank you for convening this 9th Round of the Intergovernmental Negotiations in the informal plenary on the question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters related to the Council. In the same vein, while we commend you for your continued efforts, we wish to congratulate you once more on your reappointment and to reassure you of our sustained cooperation and commitment towards moving the process forward in accordance with General Assembly decision 62/557. We take note of your opening remarks as well as the letter of the President of the General Assembly dated 10 December 2013 and the Non-Paper attached thereto.
New York: The United Nations Security Council has urged a return to constitutional order in Guinea-Bissau, which has postponed presidential and legislative elections until next year, and warned that it would consider further measures – such as sanctions – against anyone who hampers such efforts in the West African country. “The Security Council urges stakeholders in Guinea-Bissau, including political and military leaders to refrain from any action that could hamper the electoral process and the implementation of reforms, which are key to the long-term stability,” the 15-member body said in a presidential statement.
New York: The Security Council has authorized both the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic, known as MISCA, and the French troops already stationed in the strife-torn nation to support, by all necessary measures, the Mission in discharging its mandate. Unanimously adopting resolution 2127 (2013), under the United Nations Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council mandated MISCA to help protect civilians, stabilize the country and restore State authority over the territory, as well as create conditions conducive to the provision of humanitarian assistance. To finance such efforts, the Council requested the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund for MISCA, through which Member States and international, regional and subregional organizations could provide financial support.
New York: A group of independent United Nations human rights experts have urged the Kenyan Government to reject legislation that would impose severe restrictions on civil society. The bill, which was presented to Parliament on 30 October, would amend Kenya’s Public Benefit Organization Act of 2012 and grant the Government “sweeping and potentially arbitrary powers” to deny registration for such organizations, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), according to a news release issued by the experts. “The bill is an evidence of a growing trend in Africa and elsewhere, whereby governments are trying to exert more control over independent groups using so-called ‘NGO laws’,” the experts warned.
New York: The Central African Republic was "a failed State headed by a fragile transitional Government" that was powerless to bring the country out of the crisis, the Security Council heard today from a senior official of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in a meeting where several speakers called for the deployment of a multifaceted peacekeeping mission to that country. To ensure the Central African Republic's recovery, the future mandate of the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic had to be bolstered, Ahmad Allam-Mi, Secretary-General of ECCAS, said today. Countries in the region had been tending to the Central African Republic for more than a decade now. The international community was finally alert to the crisis and the need to find a lasting solution.
New York: Jeremiah Mamabolo (South Africa) said South Africa had seen some progress in the UN Security Council to increase its focus on improving its working methods. Reports by the Council President had become more regular, and South Africa encouraged other Council members to provide such regular briefings. South Africa was pleased that the Council had also widened the focus on itself to include regional and sub-regional bodies in wider debates, making the debates more structured and reflective. The improved relationship between the Council and the African Union was an example of this and made possible progress in conflict areas such as Darfur, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
New York: A sustained international focus was needed to eradicate the multitude of threats that had blighted Central Africa for years — from the security crisis in the Central African Republic, to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, to the unrelenting terrorist threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) — the senior United Nations official in the region told the Security Council today. Abou Moussa, Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), alerted delegates to the urgent need to address the crisis in the Central African Republic before it spread out of control. The Transitional Government's inability to control Séléka elements had led to tensions with neighbouring Cameroon, as well as border closures, which had reduced vital bilateral economic activity. Cross-border refugee flows were straining a subregion already struggling to cope with multitudes of displaced persons, he added.
New York: Condemning the 19-month M23 insurgency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Security Council issued a presidential statement today, welcoming the armed group’s announcement of an end to its rebellion, the Government’s acceptance of that announcement and the cessation of hostilities. In a statement read out by Liu Jieyi ( China), its President for November, the Council called for the swift conclusion and implementation of a final, comprehensive and agreed outcome, in line with the Kampala talks, which provided for the disarmament and demobilization of the M23, as well as accountability on the part of human rights abusers.