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1st November 2013 - Central African Republic – Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

Today, we organized this meeting with the Ambassador of Rwanda, simply to make public the fact that the situation in the Central African Republic is horrendous. The state has collapsed and this country is now simply plundered, looted. Women are raped, people are killed by thugs. The country has now totally fallen into anarchy.

The report that we received from OCHA is really horrendous. The schools are closed, hundreds of thousands of children don’t go to school. More and more you have inter-sectarian violence. The Seleka targeted Christian churches, so now the Christians have created self-defense militias and they are retaliating against the Muslims.

So the word we heard from several panelists is “genocide”. They said this country is spiraling down and it could fall into a genocide. So we have to act. We have to support our African friends.


One of the tragedies we are facing is that the Central African Republic is a country that most people don’t know. They don’t know where it is. So we have to draw their attention to this tragedy.

So the Africans are deploying their force. The Africans want to do the job and we are here to support them. That is the reason why we have requested from the Secretary-General a report about the ways the United Nations will be able to support our African friends. I hope that at the end of November we will have a new resolution deciding what forms of support we can give to our African friends.

Q: We have heard from a lot of officials that the 4500 troops that the AU will have there will not be enough?

I think the African force will be a very welcomed step. On a national basis, I think we should consider the prospect of having a peacekeeping operation which should be more important, maybe between 8 000 and 10 000 soldiers. But first, let the Africans do the job. After that, we will see if it is possible. We need to be 15 members. As I told you, a lot of countries are reluctant to have a new endeavor. We are creating peacekeeping operations elsewhere, we have 120 000 people deployed, financially it is also heavy. So some people say we are overstretched. So for the moment let’s have the Africans do the job. If they succeed to do the job, fine. But we shouldn’t exclude the prospect of having a peacekeeping operation. But it would be later.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU