At the invitation of the Government of the Central African Republic, the Strategic Review Meeting of the Political Process in the Central African Republic was held on 4 June 2022 in Bangui, under the high patronage of His Excellency, Professor Faustin Archange TOUADERA, President of the Central African Republic, under the auspices of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central African Republic, Her Excellency Sylvie Valérie BAÏPO-TEMON, of Angola, His Excellency Ambassador Téte ANTÓNIO, and of Rwanda, His Excellency Vincent BIRUTA, with the effective presence of the Minister of State and Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Mr. Obed NAMSIO, the Minister of State in Charge of Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) and the follow-up of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in CAR (APPR-RCA), Mr. Jean WILLYBIRO-SAKO, the Minister of Interior and Public Security, Mr. Michel Nicaise NASSIN, and the Minister in Charge of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Local Development, Mr. Bruno YAPANDE.
The Joint Strategic Review meeting was attended by the Minister of External Relations of Angola, His Excellency Ambassador Téte ANTÓNIO, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, His Excellency Mr. Vincent BIRUTA, in their capacity as representatives of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Government of CAR, the guarantors of the APPR, namely the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), as well as the facilitators of the Agreement, including the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Ambassadors, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and their representatives (Angola, Cameroun, Chad, China, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, France, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa), Representatives of regional and multilateral organizations (African Union, Development Bank of the Central African States, Economic Commission of Central African States, European Union, European Union Advisory Mission in CAR, International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Sant’ Egidio, World Bank) also took part in the meeting.
The objective of the joint strategic review meeting, which is subsequent to the follow-up meeting on the implementation of the Joint Roadmap for Peace held in Bangui on 14 January, 2022, was to assess and inform through an inclusive platform all partners in the peace and development process in CAR, including countries in the region, the ICGLR, ECCAS, the AU and MINUSCA in their capacities as guarantors and facilitators of the Peace Agreement in CAR, of the progress made in the implementation of the Luanda Joint Roadmap of 16 September 2021, identify challenges on the basis of sectoral reports presented by Ministers of the Government of Central Africa and mobilize the partners vital appropriate support to overcome them.
In this regard, the convergence of views between the Government of the Central African Republic, partners in the sub-region and strategic partners regarding the APPR, which remains the only framework for peace, with the Joint Roadmap being the vehicle for revitalizing its implementation is worth highlighting.
The opening ceremony was presided over by His Excellency the President of the Central African Republic, Professor Faustin Archange TOUADERA, who, in his speech, reiterated his political will and the determination of his Government to mobilize all efforts to revitalize the APPR through the Joint Roadmap, with the support of all CAR international partners. He underscored the need to harmonize these efforts with those of the APPR guarantors and facilitators, including MINUSCA, as per United Nations Security Council Resolution 2605 (2021), as well as Angola and Rwanda, as mandated by the ICGLR.
In this regard, the President encouraged complementarity and synergy in the political processes undertaken within the framework of the APPR and the Joint Roadmap, which must interact with each other in order to maintain a platform for pooling efforts and resources. In furtherance of this, the meeting decided to pursue efforts on harmonizing the political steps taken under the APPR and the Joint Roadmap.
The President of the Republic placed particular emphasis on efforts to ensure national ownership of the peace process, including measures taken to ensure effective contribution of all relevant Ministries and national institutions, at the instigation of His Excellency, Professor Faustin Archange TOUADERA, President of the Central African Republic, and the effective coordination of the Prime Minister and Head of the Government, Mr. Felix MOLOUA.
The meeting undertook a review of all components of the political process and related areas, including:
The status of agreements with leaders of armed groups in light of security developments in CAR. Review of the status of implementation of the cease-fire declaration and the Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR). Review of progress and challenges in the Security Sector Reform (SSR) and border control strategies. The status of the political process in relation to the Restoration of State Authority and the Republican Dialogue. The meeting took note of the assessment by the Minister of State in Charge of DDRR and the follow-up to the APPR-RCA of challenges and progress, as well as the prospects for political agreements with armed groups, DDRR, Security Sector Reform and border control, and the political process, including the Restoration of State Authority and follow-up of the recommendations of the Republican Dialogue. To this end, a decision was taken to provide technical support to the Government of CAR Ministries involved in the assessment of current capacities considering progress, challenges and prospects in order to remobilize partners for appropriate support that meets the expectations of the Central African Government.
The meeting noted with concern and regretted the lack of compliance by the parties as well as cross-border threats to peace and stability in CAR. It agreed to hold, under the aegis of the Central African Government, of technical sub-meetings to initiate a reflection in consultation with partners to come up with solutions that would guarantee the credibility and integrity of the cease-fire.
The meeting unanimously commended the Central African Republic for the initiative and ownership of the political process review, and recommended its organization on a quarterly basis at both the political and strategic, as well as technical levels for an inclusive review of the political process in order to assess progress and identify challenges in the implementation of all the components of the Joint Roadmap and the APPR, with a view to aligning resources and adequate support in accordance with an agreed timeline.
To this end, the meeting unanimously decided to hold, without delay, a first technical meeting in order to define inclusive working groups that bring together expertise and partnership to assess the state of progress and challenges as well as the needs for multifaceted assistance to reach the objectives assigned by the Government of Central Africa to the parties by the APPR and the Joint Road Map with coordinated and recognizable support from all international partners.
At the end of the meeting, participants expressed gratitude to His Excellency Professor Faustin Archange TOUADERA, President of the Central African Republic, for his unwavering commitment to peace, stability and reconciliation in the Central African Republic, and to His Excellency Mr. João LOURENÇO, President of the Republic of Angola and current Chairperson of the ICGLR, and His Excellency Mr. Paul KAGAME, President of the Republic of Rwanda, for their availability and commitment in the search for a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in the Central African Republic.
Participants also renewed their gratitude to the African Union, ECCAS, MINUSCA, neighboring countries and all partners as well as the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region for their support in operationalizing the Joint Roadmap for the revitalization of the APPR.
Issued in Bangui, 4 June 2022