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Ban Ki-moon Wants Extension Of UN Office In CAR


Ban Ki-moon recommends extension of UN office in Central African Republic

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended that the United Nations office in the Central African Republic (CAR) be extended for another year to help the country consolidate progress and prevent a relapse into conflict.

In a letter to the President of the Security Council, Mr. Ban notes that the Government has indicated that it would like the UN Peacebuilding Support Office in the CAR, known as BONUCA, to "continue to assist them in their efforts towards building lasting peace, including by helping the national stakeholders organize an inclusive political dialogue."

Some recent positive developments, facilitated in part by BONUCA, show that the UN peacebuilding efforts in the CAR are "making strides," writes Mr. Ban, noting in particular that preparations for the national dialogue are progressing, and the round table held in Brussels on 26 October mobilized close to $600 million for the country's development programmes.

But despite progress, concern remains about a number of issues, including sporadic attacks by rebels and criminal gangs and subsequent reprisals by Government forces, as well as the fallout of the Darfur crisis in the border areas with the Sudan, all of which add to the prevailing insecurity in the country and the humanitarian challenges it faces.

These factors also undermine efforts to reform the economy and to promote development, both of which are crucial for long-term stabilization of the country, the Secretary-General adds.

The support of the international community remains vital to the country's efforts to remain on the path to peace and development, Mr. Ban writes, recommending that BONUCA's mandate be extended through the end of 2008, so that it can help national players to organize an inclusive political dialogue and facilitate the mobilization of resources for national reconstruction, development and other priorities.

Mr. Ban's comments echo those in his recent report on BONUCA's activities, in which he appealed to actors in the CAR to engage in national dialogue to end the cycle of political instability and violence that continues to plague the country.

ENDS

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