Norwegian statement delivered by First Secretary Paul Ø. Bjørdal
Significant progress has been made in promoting peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic. The positive outcome of the Bangui Forum offers hope for an end to the conflict. Nevertheless, Norway remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in the country, with numerous reports of violence and abuse against the civilian population. The deadly clashes in Bangui this weekend is a reminder of the volatile situation.
Norway commends the Independent Expert, Mme Bocoum, for her excellent report on the human rights’ situation in the Central African Republic. Her recommendations are timely and appropriate. Norway supports her emphasis on the reestablishment of the justice chain and the fight against impunity, as well as the importance of including women in the peace process and in decision-making.
Norway commends the Transitional Government for important steps taken to combat impunity. The decision to establish a Special Criminal Court for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law is of particular significance. In order to break the cycle of violence, it is essential that those responsible for gross human rights violations are brought to justice.
Though the international stabilisation efforts have improved security for the civilian population, Norway underlines the responsibility to protect the most vulnerable. Special effort must be made to protect children, persons with disabilities, and those at risk of sexual and gender-based violence.
We are deeply concerned about the allegations of severe human rights violations including sexual exploitation and abuse committed by personnel in international operations, led by the AU, France and the UN in the Central African Republic. All countries that have soldiers accused of having been involved in such abuses must ensure that justice is carried out.
We encourage the Transitional Government to continue its cooperation with the UN, OHCHR, the Independent Expert, and other mechanisms of the Human Rights Council.