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Central African Republic/high-level meeting

Published on September 30, 2014
Speech by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development (excerpts)
New York, September 26, 2014


Most of us were here the same time last year. And I still have a memory of several people – and the French President in particular – warning of danger for the Central African Republic. I also remember the difficult, courageous decisions which had to be taken immediately afterwards, to prevent what would probably have been a genocide had some of us not intervened. I thank all those who lent us support at a time which isn’t long ago, and especially Presidents Deby and Bongo, since they voiced it with a great deal of power and emotion.

Let’s now turn to the future. There’s a triangle of success we must try to build. First, there’s the security aspect. MISCA [AFISM-CAR], MINUSCA, Sangaris – the important thing is that, thanks to all of you, and the international community, women and men are united on the ground who have no hesitation about putting their lives at stake so that the Central African Republic regains freedom and integrity. There are still pockets of insecurity which are very hard to overcome, but things are gradually improving. As far as France is concerned, at any rate, it will honour its engagements on the security front.

On the humanitarian and economic fronts, there is a huge amount to be done, because it requires not just a great deal of financial resources, it requires very close monitoring too. You can’t say that in the past the administration was particularly effective. It’s a question not of rebuilding but of building it, and avoiding a number of abuses which existed, and then switching the machine on again. We’ve all set to work on this, and I really want to thank you for that.

Then there’s the political aspect. I want to pay a really sincere tribute to the action undertaken and completed by President Sassou. I think the Brazzaville accord is recognized by everyone as an excellent basis, and now we have to put this into action. The transitional president is doing her best to move towards this; she knows she can count on all of us, particularly France. Quite obviously, this is going to raise the issue of future elections. We know the difficulties, but at the same time, if, in line with the legal procedures, the date were put too far back, it would risk being so distant that it would disappear from view.
We must – there are people qualified for this – find a good solution, and at any rate the prospect of partition has been completely ruled out; that’s a good thing.

I want to conclude by saying two things. Firstly, genuinely, to thank all those who are here, both the sub-region countries and the African Union, because a huge amount of work has been completed, and I don’t think this is ever stressed enough. The sacrifices, in human terms, of many Africans have also been huge. And I also want to say – but this is no surprise – that France, as always when it concerns Africa, will discreetly but effectively honour its engagements./.

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