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UN office to support national reconciliation in volatile Central African Republic

4 December 2006 Responding to the volatile situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) – an impoverished country bordering Chad and Sudan – the United Nations office there plans to support national reconciliation, strengthen democracy and promote good governance, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a letter released today.

“I share the Security Council’s concern over the recent deterioration of the security situation in the Central African Republic, which is aggravated not only by the ongoing rebellion in the north-eastern part of the country, but also by instability along the country’s borders with Chad and the Sudan,” he writes in the letter on the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in CAR (BONUCA).

“These worrying developments constitute a serious handicap to efforts launched since the restoration of constitutional governance in 2005 to promote economic and political reforms with a view to achieving sustainable peace and development,” he adds.

Last month, the Council extended BONUCA’s mandate through 2007. The Secretary-General says next year the Office will focus on supporting national reconciliation and dialogue as well as assisting efforts to strengthen democratic institutions. Attention will also be paid to helping mobilize resources for national reconstruction, economic recovery, poverty alleviation and good governance while mainstreaming a gender perspective into peacebuilding.

In addition, BONUCA will reinforce cooperation between the UN and regional entities and countries “with a view to facilitating and strengthening initiatives aimed at addressing transborder insecurity” in the area, where officials fear conditions could worsen due to violence in Chad and Sudan.

Regional instability is compounded by problems in CAR. In a report to the Council last month, Mr. Annan painted a grim picture of the security and human rights situation inside the country, which has experienced a resurgence of acts of violence by regular soldiers, unidentified armed gangs and road-blockers.

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