Ambassador Richard Mills
Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
November 14, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President. Let me start by thanking France as the penholder for its work on this important mandate.
MINUSCA deserves the Council’s broad support for its efforts to bring peace and security to the Central African Republic. The United States voted in favor of this mandate because renewing MINUSCA empowers the mission to continue protecting civilians, support CAR’s peace process, and serve a stabilizing role throughout the country.
We also voted in favor of the mandate renewal because MINUSCA has made welcome advances to address the growing threat posed by explosive devices, counter disinformation, and encourage renewable energy use. This resolution is further strengthened by its responsiveness to host government requests as communicated by Foreign Minister Baïpo-Temon.
We are pleased with this mandate’s unequivocal support for peacekeeper safety and security, including its call for full implementation of the Status of Forces Agreement and authorization of night flights. We welcome the Central African Republic’s attention to this issue and the positive discussions in recent weeks and look forward to the Central African Republic lifting the ban on MINUSCA flying at night as soon as possible. We find it difficult to understand frankly how some Council Members that purport to defend peacekeeper safety and peacekeeper security objected to including language on night flights in this mandate.
I would also like to highlight an important matter that was left out of this resolution. Although the mandate condemns the crimes of armed groups, it does not specifically name the Kremlin-backed Wagner Group. But there is extensive publicly available information that forces sent to the Central African Republic by the Russian Federation have consistently obstructed MINUSCA’s ability to fulfill its mandate and these forces stand accused of egregious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including those involving sexual violence, rape, summary executions, and torture.
We must also convey our disappointment with the unfortunate changes to preambular language on the Central African government’s responsibility to protect all populations. Although this mandate no longer specifically mentions genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, we stress that the Central African Republic has the primary responsibility to protect its populations from them all.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.