Thank you to our briefers. President, I will make four points today on the challenges facing Central Africa.
Thank you, President, and let me also thank SRSG Abarry, Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States President Verissimo and Ms Tamoifo for their important briefings.
President, I will make five points today on the challenges facing Central Africa.
First, as the Secretary-General set out in his latest report, the subregion is facing important electoral and transitional milestones. Inclusive, peaceful and credible political processes are critical for building and sustaining peace in the sub-region. We encourage member states to facilitate inclusive electoral and transitional processes and to draw on UNOCA support.
Second, the transition in Chad is one such potential milestone, but the Chadian Transitional Authorities must honour conditions set out in the May 2023 African Union Peace and Security Council communiqué to see this milestone achieved. The response to last October’s demonstrations was concerning. The United Kingdom encourages the Transitional Authorities to work with UNOCA and ECCAS to ensure accountability and the release of protestors detained without due legal process.
We pay tribute to Chad’s generosity in helping host tens of thousands of refugees fleeing the crisis in Sudan. The United Kingdom is also providing over $3 million in humanitarian assistance to help support vulnerable refugees from Sudan in Chad. We encourage the Chadian Transitional Authorities to use their influence with Sudan’s generals to encourage adherence to the ceasefire, the facilitation of humanitarian access and progress towards a peaceful resolution to this crisis.
Third, the United Kingdom remains concerned about the situation in Cameroon, especially the humanitarian impact of the conflict in the North West and South West regions. We agree with the Secretary-General that inclusive dialogue is critical to resolve the crisis. The UK continues to call on all parties to engage and to enable safe access to schools and humanitarian assistance.
Fourth, as highlighted by my colleague the Permanent Representative of Gabon, climate insecurity is a major threat to this region. The United Kingdom welcomes UNOCA’s implementation of climate security projects in Central Africa. It is essential that UNOCA’s work on climate security in the region continues and that the Council supports efforts to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.
Finally, President, we cannot ignore the destabilising role the Wagner Group continues to play in this region. They are a driver of conflict and resource competition, motivated by their exploitation of natural resources and frequently associated with human rights atrocities. They are a part of the problem, not the solution.
Thank you, President.