Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, August 28, 2013)

Central African Republic
Syria


Central African Republic

Yesterday, President Hollande called on the UN and the AU to take action in the Central African Republic. What is France asking for in concrete terms? What is the substance of the draft UNSC resolution that Paris is working on? How long will France keep its soldiers in the Central African Republic?

Yesterday, President Hollande reaffirmed the seriousness of the situation in the Central African Republic and underscored the responsibilities of the African Union and the Security Council.

In view of the deteriorating security situation and the abuse perpetrated against the civilian population, the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) was recently established in order to strengthen the action already being carried out by the Central African states. France reaffirms its support for this mission. It welcomes the initiatives of the Economic Community of Central African States and the AU to find a lasting solution to the crisis in the Central African Republic. Like the European Union, France has increased its humanitarian assistance.

In cooperation with its African partners, France is working with the Security Council members on a draft resolution to support these stabilization efforts and to strengthen UN efforts, notably in order to support a political transition in accordance with the international community’s expectations, better ensure respect for human rights and improve humanitarian access to the populations. We hope that this draft resolution can be presented in New York in the next few weeks.

With respect to the Boali detachment in the Central African Republic, whose main mission is to ensure the security of French nationals established in the country, please refer to the Ministry of Defense.

Syria

President Hollande announced yesterday that France would increase its military support for the Syrian National Coalition. What does he mean by that? If it involves arming the rebellion, what about concerns that the weapons could fall into the hands of extremists?

Our military support for the Syrian National Coalition will be strengthened “in accordance with our European commitments,” as outlined by President Hollande yesterday to the ambassadors.

The EU lifted the embargo on the supply of military equipment to the Syrian National Coalition on May 27, 2013.

Together with the other member states, we pledged to ensure that equipment would only be supplied to the Syrian National Coalition, in an effort to protect the civilian population, and to demand guarantees regarding the end users and the destination of the equipment in order to ensure that the process is closely monitored.