Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, March 11, 2014)

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Central African Republic counterpart, Mr. Toussaint Kongo Doudou (Paris, March 11, 2014)
Burundi – Political dialogue
Japan – Third anniversary of the disaster of March 11, 2011
Syria – Situation of children affected by the conflict

 

Meeting between Mr. Laurent Fabius and his Central African Republic counterpart, Mr. Toussaint Kongo Doudou (Paris, March 11, 2014)

Mr. Laurent Fabius met this morning with Mr. Toussaint Kongo Doudou, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and la Francophonie of the Central African Republic.

On this occasion, the two ministers reviewed the situation in the Central African Republic and the main common objectives that should make it possible to resolve the crisis:

- the importance of successfully completing the transition process, including the holding of elections by February 2015;

- the continued deployment on the territory of the Central African Republic of African MISCA [AFISM-CAR] forces supported by operation Sangaris, and the protection efforts of all people in the Central African Republic and notably the Muslim communities;

- the need for the transitional authorities of the Central African Republic to commit themselves fully to genuine national reconciliation and the protection of human rights. Mr. Fabius reaffirmed the importance of the fight against impunity in order to send a strong signal to the sponsors and perpetrators of the abuses;

- support for rebuilding the Central African Republic, which is vital in order to allow the transitional authorities to provide key services, notably social services, to a population that has been severely affected by the crisis.

During this meeting, Mr. Fabius reiterated that he would like a UN peacekeeping operation to be swiftly deployed in the Central African Republic in order to build on the results obtained by MISCA and to take the civilian aspect of efforts to resolve the crisis into consideration.

 

Burundi – Political dialogue

France expresses its concern following the clashes between demonstrators and the police on March 8, on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

We call on the Burundian authorities and the opposition to refrain from any use of violence and to continue their dialogue, in preparation for the general elections in 2015.

 

Japan – Third anniversary of the disaster of March 11, 2011

Three years ago, Japan was hit by a major disaster, involving an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear accident.

On this day of remembrance, we think of the 23,000 victims and the hundreds of thousands of people who lost everything; our thoughts are with those of the Japanese people.

France’s mobilization efforts reflected our long-standing friendship and our ties with Japan. Following the provision of emergency assistance, many solidarity initiatives were organized all over France, on the initiative of local authorities, businesses and associations. The Embassy of France in Japan continues to remain committed to supporting these efforts on the ground.

 

Syria – Situation of children affected by the conflict

As the report just published by UNICEF confirms, more than a million children are currently trapped in besieged areas that are inaccessible to humanitarian assistance and are in need of food and medical care, while almost 3 million children have been forced to flee their homes.

France renews its call, in accordance with UNSCR 2139, for an immediate end to the attacks against civilians, for an end to all sieges, and the release of prisoners, beginning with child prisoners. It supports UNICEF’s demand that access be granted to children in the besieged areas and that they be provided with the assistance and education they need. Only a political solution can put an end to the tragedy affecting an entire generation in Syria.

Beyond the direct victims of the regime’s bombing and sniper attacks, the physical and psychological health of Syrian children is being jeopardized. Their education is also being compromised: one in five schools has been destroyed. This is UNICEF’s alarming assessment of the harm wreaked on the 5.5 million children affected by the conflict.

France reaffirms its commitment to the protection of children in armed conflict. It fully supports UNICEF and its outstanding work with Syrian children, notably within the framework of the polio immunization campaign.

For more information:
http://weshare.unicef.org/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult_VPage&ALID=2AM4080EBUGC