The EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini met in Bangui with the President of the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra. The visit is a part of her tour of the Sahel region and the Central African Republic.
At a critical juncture for the peace and reconciliation process in the Central African Republic (CAR), this meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the latest developments since the signing in Bangui the Peace and Reconciliation Agreement on February 6 2019 been the Central African authorities and the 14 armed groups.
The EU diplomat and President Touadéra emphasized the historic chance that this Agreement offered for an exit from the humanitarian, security and political crisis that continues to affect the country’s population. They underlined that the progress has been made already in the implementation of the Agreement and expressed their concern over the persistent challenges and violations by some of armed groups.
At a meeting with the Government chaired by President Touadéra, Mogherini emphasized the need for the signatory parties to demonstrate responsibility, openness and respect for their commitments; it particularly the need for acceleration of the implementation process of the Agreement, demobilization, disarmament, reintegration and transitional justice. The EU diplomat also encouraged the Agreement‘s guarantors to use their authority for a stronger application of the Agreement. In this context, the region and the international partners of CAR as well as civil society, women and youth should fully play their role, she said.
Mogherini also recalled the high expectations of the population with regard to justice and the fight against impunity, as well as with regard to security and the return of State authority and basic services on the entire territory.
The EU top diplomat and President Touadéra reviewed cooperation between the European Union and the CAR, using an integrated approach. They noted that the EU remains the major and reliable partner for the Central African Republic, mobilizing all its instruments at the political, security, humanitarian and development cooperation levels. The priorities of the EU are aligned with those of the government: to meet the expectations of the population, particularly in terms of security, justice-reconciliation, development and governance, the rule of law, humanitarian needs. Thus, the EU’s engagement in the country continues to respond to several factors: the interest in lasting stabilization in the country, in a region where the resources of the EU and its member states are already strongly committed; and the defense of shared values in the face of repeated violations of human rights by armed groups.
Mogerini and Touadéra made a trip to Bouar, in the west of the country, to inaugurate an EU-funded military camp for the benefit of Central African armed forces and to visit the new branch of the European Military Training Mission – EUTM RCA, intended to accompany the rise of the Central African Armed Forces as well as Special Mixed Security Units provided for in the Peace Agreement.
A meeting with women Central African leaders finally allowed to recall the essential role of these in the process of peace, reconciliation and recovery of the CAR.
This visit to CAR was another opportunity to reaffirm the strength of the outstanding partnership between the EU and the CAR and, for the High Representative, to assure President Touadéra of the full support of the EU for the sustainable stabilization and development of the CAR. It took the opportunity to highlight the planned strengthening of EU action in the CAR, inter alia through an increase and extension of its Bêkou Trust Fund, in particular for health, agriculture and rural development, and considering a possible civilian mission to support the Central African internal security forces.