Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Central Africa
Ambassador Richard Mills
Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
December 15, 2021
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, SRSG Fall, for your briefing. Today, I will raise four country-specific situations and two regional threats.
First, the United States would like to express its gratitude to the AU for appointing a High Representative for Chad, to encourage continued reforms and steps towards a democratic transition. We support the High Representative’s efforts and join the calls for a peaceful, timely, and civilian-led transition to a democratically elected government in 2022. The Secretary-General’s report shows advancement on key milestones. We hope to see more progress toward a timely and inclusive national dialogue. To that end, we were heartened at the November 29 decision, by the Transitional Military Council, to grant amnesty to almost 300 members of armed groups, positioning them to constructively engage in the national dialogue. Women and civil society must be included in this dialogue. Moving forward, we hope to see a concrete plan and a timeline for legislative and executive elections. A representative and democratically elected government is the best path to long-term prosperity and stability in Chad.
Second, like others, we remain concerned about the continued violence in Cameroon, including the Far North and Northwest and Southwest regions of the country. We agree with the Secretary-General’s report that dialogue between the government and armed separatists in the Anglophone regions has not gained sufficient momentum. We support UNOCA’s role in promoting inclusive political dialogue in Cameroon and call for the immediate cessation of attacks on UN convoys and humanitarian workers.
Third, in the Central African Republic, we call on all parties to respect the ceasefire declared by President Touadera, also the February 2019 peace agreement, and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region road map. We again urge all security actors to coordinate their operations with MINUSCA and to end human rights abuses.
Fourth, in Burundi, the United States recognized positive developments by terminating our bilateral sanctions program and related visa restrictions on November 18. The United States remains concerned about reports of human rights violations and abuses that threaten to undermine progress. But our decision reflects changed circumstances in Burundi since 2015 and the President of Burundi’s pursuit of reforms across multiple sectors. U.S. sanctions are responsive, always, to the situation on the ground and were lifted in Burundi following concrete positive steps.
Finally, regarding two regional situations, the United States condemns all attacks by Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa. The U.S. government supports efforts by the countries of the region to effectively address terrorism in support of a holistic approach to peace, stability, and security. The United States continues to offer a reward of up to 5 million U.S. dollars for any information that leads to the arrest, the transfer, or the conviction of LRA leader Joseph Kony. We urge anyone with knowledge of Kony’s whereabouts to contact our War Crimes Rewards Program and help bring him to justice. Thank you, Mr. President.