HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
42nd Regular Session
Diálogo Interativo com a Perita Independente para os direitos humanos na República Centro-Africana
25 de Setembro
Thank You, Mr. President,
Portugal is fully aligned with the EU intervention.
Portugal wishes to thank the Independent Expert for her presentation and report. We follow with great concern the security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic and we believe that a stable security environment is essential for the provision of basic protection and humanitarian services. Only by ensuring full respect for the rule of law throughout the territory will it be possible to create the conditions for economic development and to improve the populations’ living conditions.
We welcome the recent peace agreement, signed by the government and several armed groups towards an inclusive political solution to ending the conflict, and look forward to its full implementation.
However, serious violations of human rights in the country remain a cause for concern. We condemn all acts of violence, which also have a negative effect on the ongoing peace process. In particular, we strongly condemn the latest clashes between armed groups in the northern city of Birao.
Portugal continues to support the African Union-led African Initiative for Peace as the most suitable way to achieve a sustainable solution to the delicate situation in the country, allowing for a long-term process of gradual stabilization and institution-building, as well as the peaceful and democratic transition of power.
It is our belief that the conflict in the country cannot be resolved through a military response. The role of the security forces is also very important. It is therefore crucial to strengthen their capacities and enable them to develop a renewed bond of trust with the Central-African people, in full respect of their fundamental rights.
Portugal’s continued engagement with MINUSCA is a tangible proof of our continuing commitment to improve the security situation in the CAR, in close cooperation with the international community. We currently have 201 military personnel deployed in the country, providing MINUSCAS´ sole Rapid Reaction Force, as well as 9 police officers (7 others to be deployed soon).
Madam Independent Expert, the Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation for the CAR includes a commitment regarding the freedom for all citizens and members of armed groups to create political parties or movements “without restriction”, namely in what concerns minorities and less represented groups. In your view, how far in the near future and to what degree can we hope to see this applied, considering the obvious security obstacles in the country?
I Thank You, Mr. President