Security Council: Statement by Ambassador Wittig on the Situation in Central Africa
(Security Council: Statement as delivered by Ambassador Wittig on the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA))
" Mr. President,
I thank SRSG Moussa for his briefing. Let me first refer to the LRA and secondly comment on UNOCA.
The LRA continues to pose a serious threat to civilians, mainly in the DRC, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Children continue to bear the brunt of LRA attacks and their atrocities.
The conceptual tools are in place, namely the AU regional initiative against the LRA and the UN regional strategy. It is critical to swiftly implement and follow-up on the regional initiative. We welcome the progress made so far. We reiterate our call on the countries in the region to take the lead in resolving the LRA problem, to fully commit to the AU regional initiative, to strengthen their cooperation at all levels, and to observe their primary responsibility to protect civilians. We call upon all States to cooperate with the Ugandan authorities and the ICC in order to implement the arrest warrants for LRA leaders.
We welcome the AU’s leadership role in coordinating efforts against the LRA and commend the close cooperation between SRSG Moussa and the AU Special Envoy. Strengthening coordination, information sharing, and trust among the security and defense forces of the LRA affected countries remains important. The AU should also continue to persuade Khartoum to participate in the efforts to address the LRA threat.
We reiterate our encouragement to share the concept of the military planning of the AU initiative, and to agree on a realistic CONOPS for the AU Regional Task Force.
This is important to enable the UN and international partners to consider additional support where feasible. In every military action, protection of civilians needs to be a priority, well monitored and reviewed.
We appreciate UNOCA’s leading role in coordinating the implementation of the UN’s regional strategy to address the LRA threat. We commend all UN actors for their contributions and welcome progress achieved notably in the inter-mission and cross-border cooperation. Further efforts are needed. The successful implementation of the strategy requires the full commitment of all UN actors and external partners. We encourage focusing on protection of civilians, DDR and DDRRR efforts for former LRA members, ensuring humanitarian assistance, and fostering peacebuilding and development activities in LRA affected areas.
Germany remains committed to contribute to the implementation of the regional strategy. We provide continuous humanitarian assistance and have supported the expansion of MONUSCO’s Standard Operating Procedures for DDRRR across the region. In order to enhance protection of civilians we have recently allocated 1.3 million USD to a UNICEF project. The project aims at responding to the specific protection concerns of women and children arising from LRA operations.
We encourage SRSG Moussa and UNOCA to ensure close monitoring of the implementation process of the UN regional strategy, its evaluation and flexible adaptation of all actions to the needs and developments on the ground.
Turning finally to UNOCA’s overall mandate and activities, we commend UNOCA for prioritizing its work programme and for its focus on specific activities. We welcome UNOCA’s contribution to strengthening ECCAS’ capacities in the field of mediation. Enhancing early warning and early political action in the region should also be pursued.
We encourage the development of an integrated counter-terrorism and small arms and light weapon strategy for Central Africa and hail UNOCA’s assistance provided to the UNSAC Member States in this context. We also commend UNOCA’s contribution to implementing the recommendations of Security Council resolutions 2018 (2011) and 2039 (2012) on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and encourage continued close cooperation with the UN Office for West Africa UNOWA and regional organisations with the purpose of developing a regional strategy against piracy and other forms of maritime crime.
Let me conclude by expressing our support for the work of SRSG Moussa and the regional office. Their contribution to conflict prevention in Central Africa is important and appreciated.
Thank you, Mr. President."