Statement by Ambassador James Kariuki, UK Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, at the UN Security Council meeting on the Central African Republic.

First, we welcome the efforts of the Government of the Central African Republic to deliver local elections in the autumn. Local elections will be critical to strengthening democracy in CAR ahead of presidential and legislative elections next year. However, the detention of political opponents threatens the credibility of future elections. And we encourage the full inclusion of women, youth, returnees, IDPs and refugees in elections.

Second, we remain concerned by the activities of armed groups, particularly around border areas, mining regions and “transhumance corridors” who continue to conduct cross-border arms smuggling in violation of the arms embargo, to pursue their military aspirations. In this context, MINUSCA’s mandate remains vital for supporting stability in CAR. We welcome the continued productive cooperation between the CAR authorities and MINUSCA.

The UK also welcomes the Government of CAR’s commitment to implementing the 2019 Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation. We encourage the authorities to continue their decentralisation efforts and to continue to support sustainable security through its disarming, demobilisation and rehabilitation programme and local peacebuilding initiatives.

Thirdly, we call on all Council members to support MINUSCA’s ability to deliver its mandate. The UK has information that Russian proxies are likely trying to undermine MINUSCA’s continued presence in CAR, including through disinformation campaigns against the Mission, in violation of the Security Council’s resolutions and CAR’s sovereignty. 

Russia’s targeted actions against UN Peacekeeping missions, including MINUSCA, highlight their intent to destabilise states to achieve their own foreign policy objectives. The presence and activities of Russian proxies impact communities, exacerbate existing conflicts and undermine long-term economic development.

Attempts by proxies, acting on behalf of a permanent member of the Security Council to impede the operations of MINUSCA’s unmanned aerial systems, threaten the safety of UN personnel. This is unacceptable. We urgently call on the CAR authorities to lift all restrictions on MINUSCA’s movements and reconsider the involvement of destabilising Russian proxies. President, the UK is committed to working with CAR to provide long-term stability and development that delivers on the aspirations of all Central Africans.

Published 27 June 2024