Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternate U.S. Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
June 5, 2023
Thank you, Madam President, and thank you, SRSG Abarry, for the informative briefing. I also wish to thank Mr. Verissimo and Ms. Tamoifo for their briefings.
I would like to begin by expressing the United States’ firm commitment to supporting an inclusive and sustainable democratic transition in Chad. While we welcome Chad’s decision to end the suspension of opposition groups involved in the October 20 protests, we encourage further steps to ensure their meaningful participation in drafting Chad’s new constitution and electoral law, and developing independent institutions to organize elections. We also continue to call on the government to hold accountable those responsible for killings and abuses during the October 20 protests.
An inclusive and credible democratic transition – based on guidelines in the AU Peace and Security Council communique of May 2021 – offers the best chance for Chad to emerge from decades of conflict and to build a more stable and prosperous democracy for the future. We stand ready to work with other members of the international community to support these priorities, including through a Friends Group in N’Djamena.
We also remain concerned about the continued violence in Cameroon and condemn all attacks against civilians, including in the Far North, Northwest, and Southwest regions of the country. This violence must stop.
A broader dialogue is needed to give voice to those stakeholders seeking to address root causes and bring the crisis to an end. And we fully support SRSG Abarry’s efforts to promote inclusive political dialogue.
Turning to the Central African Republic, we urge authorities to redouble their efforts to make progress on the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Roadmap and to revitalize the 2019 Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation.
Further, we continue to encourage the government of the Central African Republic to further strengthen its ties with MINUSCA and others with a genuine commitment to the country’s peace and stability. CAR has many partners who wish to assist in its development. The Wagner Group, however, is not one of them. The government’s relationship with Wagner hinders others from fully engaging with the government to bring peace and stability to CAR.
Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa also continue to destabilize the region through attacks on civilians that have displaced thousands. The United States supports the coordination efforts of regional states and the Multinational Joint Task Force to combat these terrorist groups and implement holistic strategies that address the underlying drivers of terrorism.
Finally, we applaud Gabon’s leadership in efforts to preserve the world’s tropical rainforests by hosting the One Forest Summit in Libreville. We congratulate the Gabonese government on hosting a successful summit, and look forward to continuing to cooperate and engage in the region to combat climate change.
Central Africa is vibrant, dynamic, and full of promise. The United States is proud to partner with the region and others to help realize the vast potential of the people who call it home.
Thank you, Madam President.