1. The present report is submitted pursuant to the statement of the President of the Security Council dated 10 August 2018 (S/PRST/2018/17), in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to keep it informed about the activities of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) every six months. It provides an assessment of the major political and security trends in Central Africa since the report dated 26 November 2021 (S/2021/975). It also provides an update on the situation in the Lake Chad basin region, pursuant to Council resolution 2349 (2017).
II. Major developments in the Central Africa subregion
A. Political, peace and security developments and trends
2. Several countries in the subregion started preparations during the reporting period for upcoming elections in 2022 and 2023. To date, the risk of electoral violence appears limited in most countries. While the peaceful transfer of power in Sao Tome and Principe has demonstrated the potential to consolidate democratic gains in the upcoming electoral cycles, the shrinking of political space and has be en observed in other countries. The socioeconomic impact of both the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the war in Ukraine have fuelled popular frustration. As most countries have recently lifted COVID-19-related restrictive measures, they remain vulnerable to a relapse, in particular given the generally low vaccination rates.
3. The reporting period was marked by the ongoing political transition in Chad and advances in political dialogue in the Central African Republic. In Chad, the inclusive national dialogue, a key milestone of the transitional road map, was originally scheduled for 10 May but was postponed to allow for the pre-dialogue between the transitional authorities and politico-military groups, hosted in Doha, to yield results. In the Central African Republic, the republican dialogue was held from 21 to 27 March amid the withdrawal of some opposition members. Nevertheless, the event offered a venue for sociopolitical actors and community representatives in the country to discuss issues related to peace and security, political governance, the rule of law and democratic and institutional strengthening, and economic and social development, as well as foreign policy and international cooperation.
4. The region continued to face multidimensional and cross-border security threats. There was an increase in intercommunal violence including, notably, farmerherder and herder-fisher conflicts in the Lake Chad basin. In the North-West and South-West Regions of Cameroon, prospects for dialogue did not materialize and violence persisted.
5. The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) continued to pursue its institutional reform and the implementation of its strategic priorities for the period 2021–2025, notably on peace and security. In Brazzaville on 19 January, ECCAS held its twentieth ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government, which took important steps to strengthen the ECCAS peace and security architecture, including through the installation of a committee of the wise and the creation of a network of women mediators in Central Africa. ECCAS leaders agreed to strengthen their efforts to address the multidimensional security dynamics in the subregion.