The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Africa and the head of the UN Regional Office for the region (UNOCA), Francois Lounceny Fall, has warned against rising violence in the Central African Republic which according to him threatens to spill across the border into neighbouring countries, creating further instability.
The senior United Nations official on Thursday, gave the warning while calling for continued and coordinated regional efforts to bolster peace and security.
In particular, a comprehensive and cautions approach is needed against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) as the African Union works to replace its ongoing initiative against the rebel group, said Fall.
Replacing the AU’s initiative to neutralize the LRA, should not leave a security vacuum that the group could exploit to relaunch and intensify its campaign of violence, he said, briefing the Security Council.
Turning to the developments in the Central African sub-region, Mr. Fall, informed the 15-member Council of a number of recent election campaigns, including the October parliamentary ballots in São Tomé and Príncipe, as well as legislative and local elections in Gabon. Elections in Chad, scheduled for November, had been postponed however, he reported.
“I encourage the Chadian authorities to organize these elections as soon as possible and call on the international community to provide the necessary financial support to the Government, as required,” said Mr. Fall.
On Cameroon, the senior UN official raised concern over continuing reports of alleged human rights violations and called on the Government to speed up its efforts towards decentralization as well as promotion of bilingualism and multiculturalism, as tensions between French and English-speaking communities continue.
Cameroon’s Anglophone regions – the country’s northwest and southwest regions – have seen multiple strikes and demonstrations over the past year as tensions have mounted over what the country’s English-speakers see as discrimination against them in favour of the majority French-speaking population.