Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
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Human Rights Council - 25th Regular Session

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Central African Republic
Australian statement

26 March 2014
 

Despite some improvement in the security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), Australia remains concerned by the ongoing violence against civilians, including women and children, the lack of state authority and basic security throughout the country, and the worsening humanitarian crisis.

There is an urgent need to combat impunity for serious international crimes and other human rights violations, restore law and order, and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Australia welcomes the recent visits to CAR by the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [18-20 March] and the Independent Expert on CAR Marie-Thérèse Keita Bocoum [4-14 March]. We support the priorities identified by the High Commissioner in her 19 February report, including national reconciliation, the speedy rehabilitation of the justice system and prison facilities, and security sector reform.

Australia recognises the challenges faced by the transitional authorities in CAR and the urgent need for international assistance. Australia is providing A$4 million in humanitarian aid to the CAR for emergency medical, food, water and essential household items. We have also been active on the UN Security Council, including in the establishment of the International Commission of Inquiry.

Australia welcomes the decision by CAR’s transitional authorities to expedite the establishment of a National Human Rights Commission, and the decision to establish a Reconciliation Commission and Permanent Commission on Dialogue. We also urge the authorities in CAR to work with the international community to implement the recommendations of the recent Universal Periodic Review of CAR.

We strongly commend the efforts of CAR religious and other community leaders aimed at ending the cycle of violence, bringing the divided communities together, and advocating for inter-religious peace and reconciliation.