Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on the situation in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)

Ambassador Jonathan Cohen
Deputy U.S. Representative
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 25, 2019


Thank you, Mr. President.

And thanks too, to our briefers today. Special Representative Ndiaye, please accept our condolences for the loss of four Senegalese peacekeepers in a helicopter accident last month.

Mr. President, I will make five brief points.

First, the United States is deeply concerned that some armed groups continue to violate the peace agreement with impunity. We call for all signatory parties to commit to fully implement the peace agreement.

Second, we would like to highlight that MINUSCA’s top priority task is the protection of civilians. There is no contradiction between protecting civilians and using MINUSCA’s good offices to support the success of the peace agreement. In fact, we believe these two efforts are mutually reinforcing.

Third, we must break the cycle of violence in CAR by ensuring high standards for vetting, disarmament, demobilization, and training for former combatants who choose to enter the Mixed Brigades or participate in other DDRR programs. Vetting should complement the work of the Special Criminal Court, which the United States supports to ensure accountability for the most serious crimes and atrocities, in keeping with the Bangui Forum.

Fourth, during the recent trip of the Security Council’s sanctions committee to Bangui, it was clear that the CAR government now has sufficient arms to supply their troops, but still needs to develop defense institutions to provide their troops with logistical support and salaries when deployed in the field. We hope CAR’s government can make more progress on the arms embargo benchmarks so that its military can be counted on to defend the borders and protect Central Africans.

And finally, the United States would like to recognize the attention paid in the Secretary-General’s report of October 15 to performance optimization, particularly the new short-loop casualty evacuation process and actions taken in response to violence in Alindao. These efforts make peacekeeping safer by simultaneously protecting the lives of both peacekeepers and civilians. The United States will continue to press for improved peacekeeping performance reporting in MINUSCA, and in all peacekeeping operations, according to standards set in Action for Peacekeeping and UN Security Council Resolution 2436.

I thank you, Mr. President.