Procedure : 2015/2874(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : RC-B8-1000/2015

Texts tabled :

RC-B8-1000/2015

Debates :

PV 08/10/2015 - 4.1
CRE 08/10/2015 - 4.1

Votes :

PV 08/10/2015 - 9.1

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0342

JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 170kWORD 97k
7.10.2015
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pursuant to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of the Rules of Procedure

replacing the motions by the following groups:

ECR (B8‑1000/2015)

ALDE (B8‑1009/2015)

EFDD (B8‑1010/2015)

S&D (B8‑1011/2015)

PPE (B8‑1014/2015)

Verts/ALE (B8‑1016/2015)


on the Central African Republic (2015/2874(RSP))


Cristian Dan Preda, Tunne Kelam, Elmar Brok, David McAllister, Patricija Šulin, Eduard Kukan, Bogdan Brunon Wenta, Francesc Gambús, Maurice Ponga, Lorenzo Cesa, Jiří Pospíšil, Davor Ivo Stier, Stanislav Polčák, Barbara Kudrycka, Tomáš Zdechovský, Therese Comodini Cachia, Giovanni La Via, Monica Macovei, Andrej Plenković, Marijana Petir, József Nagy, Claude Rolin, Ivan Štefanec, Pavel Svoboda, Jeroen Lenaers, Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, Anna Záborská, Jaromír Štětina, Adam Szejnfeld, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Lara Comi, Mariya Gabriel, László Tőkés, Inese Vaidere, Elisabetta Gardini, Thomas Mann, Barbara Matera, Dubravka Šuica, Ivana Maletić on behalf of the PPE Group
Norbert Neuser, Victor Boştinaru, Josef Weidenholzer, Richard Howitt, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Elena Valenciano, Ana Gomes, Eric Andrieu, Nikos Androulakis, Maria Arena, Zigmantas Balčytis, Hugues Bayet, Goffredo Maria Bettini, José Blanco López, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Biljana Borzan, Paul Brannen, Nicola Caputo, Andi Cristea, Viorica Dăncilă, Isabella De Monte, Jonás Fernández, Monika Flašíková Beňová, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Enrico Gasbarra, Elena Gentile, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Neena Gill, Maria Grapini, Theresa Griffin, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Afzal Khan, Jude Kirton-Darling, Jeppe Kofod, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Javi López, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Krystyna Łybacka, Andrejs Mamikins, David Martin, Edouard Martin, Alessia Maria Mosca, Victor Negrescu, Momchil Nekov, Péter Niedermüller, Demetris Papadakis, Vincent Peillon, Tonino Picula, Miroslav Poche, Liliana Rodrigues, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Siôn Simon, Renato Soru, Tibor Szanyi, Claudia Tapardel, Marc Tarabella, Julie Ward, Flavio Zanonato, Damiano Zoffoli on behalf of the S&D Group
Mark Demesmaeker, Beatrix von Storch, Raffaele Fitto on behalf of the ECR Group
Marielle de Sarnez, Petras Auštrevičius, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Urmas Paet, Frédérique Ries, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Marietje Schaake, Pavel Telička, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ivo Vajgl, Filiz Hyusmenova, Nathalie Griesbeck, Nedzhmi Ali, Philippe De Backer, Gérard Deprez, Fredrick Federley, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Louis Michel, Javier Nart, Jozo Radoš, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Cecilia Wikström, Marian Harkin, Valentinas Mazuronis on behalf of the ALDE Group
Judith Sargentini, Maria Heubuch, Heidi Hautala, Jordi Sebastià, Bart Staes, Michèle Rivasi, Barbara Lochbihler, Ernest Urtasun, Bodil Valero, Tamás Meszerics, Davor Škrlec, Igor Šoltes on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
Ignazio Corrao, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Piernicola Pedicini, Isabella Adinolfi, Laura Agea, Laura Ferrara, Rolandas Paksas on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on the Central African Republic (2015/2874(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Central African Republic,

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 February 2015 on the work of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly(1),

–  having regard to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly resolutions on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) of 19 June 2013, 19 March 2014 and 17 June 2015,

–  having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the situation in the Central African Republic, notably that of 13 October 2014,

–  having regard to the statement by the European External Action Service (EEAS) spokesperson on the violence in the Central African Republic of 28 September 2015,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the CAR of 9 February 2015 and 20 July 2015,

–  having regard to the remarks made by Marie-Therese Keita Bocoum, the UN independent expert on the human rights situation in the CAR, of 1 October 2015,

–  having regard to the call by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council of 28 September 2015 for an immediate end to the sudden eruption of violence in the CAR,

–  having regard to UN resolution 2217 (2015) renewing MINUSCA’s mandate at current authorised troop levels until 30 April 2016, adopted by the Security Council at its 7434th meeting on 28 April 2015,

–  having regard to UN resolution 2196 (2015) renewing the Central African Republic (CAR) sanctions regime until 29 January 2016 and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 2127 CAR Sanctions Committee until 29 February 2016,

–  having regard to the 15 May 2015 UN Evaluation Report on Enforcement and Remedial Assistance Efforts for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by the United Nations and Related Personnel in Peacekeeping Operations,

–  having regard to the report of the UN Secretary-General on the recommendations of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, of 11 September 2015,

–  having regard to the Final Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic of 19 December 2014,

–  having regard to the high-level international conference on the Central African Republic, entitled ‘From humanitarian aid to resilience’, held in Brussels on 26 May 2015,

–  having regard to the disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation and reintegration (DDRR) agreement signed on 10 May 2015 by a large number of the armed groups during the Bangui Forum,

–  having regard to the revised Cotonou Agreement,

–  having regard to the Libreville (Gabon) Agreement of 11 January 2013 on the resolution of the politico-military crisis in the CAR, signed under the aegis of the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), which sets out the conditions for ending the crisis in the CAR,

–  having regard to the extraordinary summits of the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), held in N’Djamena (Chad) on 21 December 2012, 3 April 2013 and 18 April 2013, and to their decisions to establish a National Transitional Council (CNT) with legislative and constituent powers and adopt a roadmap for the transition process in the CAR,

–  having regard to the meeting of the International Contact Group of 3 May 2013 in Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo), which validated the roadmap for the transition and set up a Special Fund to assist the CAR,

–  having regard to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in July 2014,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the 7th Meeting of the International Contact Group on the Central African Republic, held in Brazzaville on 16 March 2015,

–  having regard to the communiqués issued by the African Union’s Peace and Security Council on 17 September 2014 and 26 March 2015,

–  having regard to the CAR’s Constitution adopted by the Transitional Council at the end of August 2015,

–  having regard to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), ratified by the CAR in 2001,

–  having regard to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, signed by the CAR,

–  having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas new clashes erupted at the end of September 2015, leaving 42 people dead and prompting some 37 000 to flee their homes;

B.  whereas over 500 prisoners escaped at the end of September 2015 from the Ngaragba prison in Bangui and from Bouar, including well-known perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses; whereas this poses a serious threat to civilians and to the protection of victims and witnesses; whereas the prison escape is a setback for the preservation of law and order, and for the fight against impunity in the CAR;

C.  whereas conditions for aid agencies in Bangui have deteriorated according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; whereas several offices and residences of relief organisations have been looted and their workers’ freedom of movement impeded, especially health workers in hospitals;

D.  whereas humanitarian aid is made difficult because of the fighting and numerous roadblocks, impeding the ability of the authorities to gain access to thousands of internally displaced people and assess needs; whereas the concerns about safe access to Bangui’s neighbourhoods have been echoed by Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), which said wounded people had been arriving on foot in many cases and the group’s ambulances have been unable to circulate as the capital has become too dangerous;

E.  whereas the UN decided to extend the mandate of MINUSCA until 30 April 2016 with an authorised troop ceiling of 10 750 military personnel, including 480 military observers and military staff officers, and 2 080 police personnel, including 400 individual police officers and 40 corrections officers;

F.  whereas according to the UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MINUSCA), although the security situation has calmed down lately, tensions persist in Bangui, which had been the scene of attacks against civilians, violence between communities and attacks against humanitarian personnel;

G.  whereas the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda called for those involved in the clashes ‘to immediately cease and desist the violence’, adding that any war crimes committed will be punished; whereas on 24 September 2014 the second investigation into the CAR conflict was opened;

H.  whereas recent clashes threaten to unravel a fledgling peace process and could bring the country back to the dark days of late 2013 and 2014 when thousands were killed and tens of thousands had to flee their homes; whereas crime remains a major threat; whereas the situation of women in the CAR is very grave, and whereas rape is often used as a weapon of war by all the parties involved;

I.  whereas the 2013 coup and the subsequent ousting from power of the Transitional Head of State, Michel Djotodia, and of the Transitional Prime Minister, Nicolas Tiangaye, was accompanied by massive and severe human rights violations with a clear risk of genocide, including extrajudicial killings, torture, looting, large-scale acts of rape and sexual abuse, abduction of women and children and forced recruitment of child soldiers;

J.  whereas on 4 October 2015, Central Africans were to decide by referendum on the adoption of a new constitution and elect their representatives in parallel during presidential and legislative elections originally scheduled for 18 October 2015 (first round) and 22 November 2015 (second round); whereas the transition authorities have been working for a few weeks to postpone the polls, but the National Elections Agency (NSA) has still not announced a new schedule, the voter lists are not established and electoral cards have not been distributed;

K.  whereas the country is confronted with the worst humanitarian crisis since its independence in 1960, which is affecting the entire population of 4.6 million people, half of whom are children; whereas 2.7 million people are in need of assistance, including food aid, protection, and access to health care, drinking water, sanitation and housing; whereas it has been estimated that more than 100 000 children have faced sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups in the country and whereas it is estimated that the crisis has left one million children without a school;

L.  whereas on 5 May 2015 armed groups in the CAR reached an agreement to release between 6 000 and 10 000 child soldiers;

M.  whereas the peacekeeping operation has been tarnished by allegations of sexual abuse of children and girls by UN soldiers and French peacekeepers;

N.  whereas both the Seleka and the anti-balaka armed groups profit from the timber and diamond trade by controlling sites and ‘taxing’ or extorting ‘protection’ money from miners and traders, and whereas CAR traders have purchased diamonds worth several million dollars without adequately investigating whether they were financing armed groups;

O.  whereas respect for human rights is a fundamental value of the European Union and represents an essential element of the Cotonou Agreement, in particular Article 8 thereof;

P.  whereas justice and prosecution of grave human rights violations are among the critical tasks needed to end the abuses and rebuild the CAR;

Q.  whereas impunity continues to be a hallmark of the violence, notwithstanding the fact that the Transitional Council has adopted and the interim President signed into law the establishment of a Special Criminal Court, comprised of both national and international judges and prosecutors, that will investigate and prosecute grave human rights violations committed in the CAR since 2003;

R.  whereas in September 2014 the EU launched the first three development projects from the EU multi-donor trust fund for the CAR in the areas of health, job creation, rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure in Bangui, and the empowerment of women and their economic inclusion;

S.  whereas in March 2015 the European Council launched the EU’s military advisory mission in the CAR (EUMAM RCA) aiming at supporting the Central African authorities in preparing a reform of the security sector with respect to the armed forces;

T.  whereas since May 2015 the EU has increased its assistance for the CAR with a total of EUR 72 million, including resources for humanitarian aid (with EUR 10 million of fresh funding), budget support (with an additional EUR 40 million) and a new contribution to the EU Trust Fund for the CAR (an additional EUR 22 million);

U.  whereas on 15 July 2014 the EU launched its first ever multi-donor development trust fund in support of the Central African Republic, aiming at enabling the transition from emergency response towards long-term development assistance;

1.  Expresses its deep concern over the situation in the Central African Republic, which could bring the country to the edge of a civil war if the latest violence is not contained; deplores the loss of lives and expresses its sympathy to the families of the victims and to the entire population of the Central African Republic;

2.  Strongly condemns the attacks against humanitarian organisations and residences during the latest outbreak of violence; calls for the free movement of aid workers to reach civilians in need, especially the displaced population; recalls that almost half a million internally displaced people are in urgent need of food, healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter and basic household items;

3.  Calls on the CAR authorities to focus on fighting against impunity and on the re-establishment of the rule of law, also by holding accountable before justice those responsible for violence; welcomes the creation of the Special Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute grave human rights violations committed in the country since 2003 and points out the urgent need to make it operational; stresses that international financial and technical support is essential for its functioning; calls for an international pledging meeting for donors as soon as possible; encourages the CAR authorities to adopt an efficient and transparent recruitment procedure for staffing the Court;

4.  Commends the ECCAS for its crucial role in the setting up of the transition process and the firm stance taken at the consultations in Addis Ababa on 31 January 2015 regarding any parallel initiative which might jeopardise the current efforts of the international community to restore peace, security and stability in the CAR;

5.  Welcomes the efforts undertaken so far by the transitional government, but calls on the CAR transitional authorities and the international community to address the root causes of the crisis, such as the widespread poverty, economic disparities and inequalities, rising unemployment, and the lack of redistribution of wealth from the country’s natural resources via the state budget; calls for a comprehensive approach focusing on security, humanitarian aid, stabilisation and economic recovery;

6.  Calls on the international community to support the political process in the CAR at this critical time and to enhance common efforts to facilitate political dialogue, build trust and ensure peaceful coexistence between religious communities in the country; urges the Government of the CAR to make the reconstruction of the education system a priority, in order to facilitate long-term pacific coexistence;

7.  Deplores the fact that although the UN has declared an embargo on weapons, the strengthening of militias continues; calls on all parties to abide by the disarmament agreement as signed on 10 May 2015; stresses that disarming armed groups must be an absolute priority, especially ahead of the presidential and general elections due to take place in the CAR by the end of the year;

8.  Urges the African Union and the European Union to use all appropriate measures and tools to help the transitional government overcome the implosion of an already fragile state, interethnic escalation and the continued strength of competing militias, and make the transition towards a functioning, inclusive and democratic state, notably through the Instrument for Stability and Peace and the African Peace Facility and African Standby Force;

9.  Welcomes the setting up of the Bangui Forum for reconciliation and peace and urges the unconditional participation of all political, military and religious leaders as well as local communities and civil society; insists that democratic elections must take place;

10.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States and other international actors to do their utmost to support the organisation of the elections as foreseen in the transition road-map, in particular by contributing to the UNDP-managed electoral assistance programme, so that elections can take place before the end of this year, thus fulfilling a key element of the transition road-map;

11.  Reiterates its support for the independence, unity and territorial integrity of the CAR; recalls the importance of peoples’ right to self-determination without outside interference;

12.  Reaffirms its support to the UN, the MINUSCA peacekeeping force and the French Sangaris military contingent ahead of the elections to take place by the end of the year; strongly condemns any attempt to deter ongoing efforts towards stability;

13.  Recalls that the transitional period will come to an end on 30 December 2015; urges the national authorities, with the support of the MINUSCA and the Sangaris forces, to restore calm in the country, and more particularly in Bangui, in order to maintain the electoral calendar in the best way possible;

14.  Welcomes the EU military advisory mission (EUMAM RCA), and the launching of projects aiming to reinstate the police and gendarmerie capacities for community policing and riot control, restore the joint operational command centre, reinforce the judiciary and rehabilitate the prison facilities;

15.  Strongly condemns all the violence against children and women, and urges all militias and non-state armed groups to lay down their arms, cease all forms of violence and immediately release children from their ranks; invites all the stakeholders to be committed to the protection of children’s rights and to prevent any further violations and abuses against children; urges that girls and women who are victims of rape in the context of armed conflict be offered the full range of sexual and reproductive health services;

16.  Urges the CAR diamond traders to prove due diligence and the international diamond companies to address Kimberly Process failures in the diamond supply chain from the CAR; calls on the CAR authorities and foreign companies to help strengthen governance in the extractives sector by abiding by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative;

17.  Calls on international diamond companies to look closely at the origin of diamonds in order to avoid fuelling the conflict by purchasing illicitly extracted and traded diamonds from the CAR; urges European companies that are trading with CAR logging companies to abide by the EU Timber Regulation, and calls on the EU to robustly enforce its Timber Regulation with regard to importers of CAR timber;

18.  Invites the CAR authorities to develop a nationally-owned strategy to tackle the illicit exploitation and trafficking networks of natural resources;

19.  Urges the countries whose soldiers are responsible for sexual abuse on peacekeeping missions in the CAR to hold them accountable and put them on trial, as impunity cannot be tolerated; stresses the urgent need to reform peacekeeping structures by establishing a functioning and transparent oversight and accountability mechanism; is convinced that such grave crimes could also be reduced and prevented via training and education;

20.  Urges the CAR, its neighbouring states and other member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) to cooperate at regional level to investigate and combat regional criminal networks and armed groups involved in the illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources, including gold, diamonds and wildlife poaching and trafficking;

21.  Calls for the EU to do everything in its power to provide better-coordinated and more effective assistance to the people of the CAR; welcomes, at the same time, the scaling‑up of the EU and Member States’ humanitarian engagement with the CAR in light of the evolving needs; stresses that life-saving assistance should be provided to those in need within the CAR, as well as to refugees in neighbouring countries;

22.  Deplores the destruction of public archives and registers by militias; urges the EU to support the CAR’s restoration of the public registry and also to prevent any electoral irregularities;

23.  Calls on the Member States, as well as other donors, to scale up their contributions to the EU Fund for the CAR, the Bêkou Trust Fund, whose aim is to promote the stabilisation and reconstruction of the Central African Republic taking into consideration the need to better link the reconstruction / development programmes with the humanitarian response;

24.  Calls on the EU, the AU and the international community to support the refugees from the CAR in neighbouring countries;

25.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Transitional Government authorities of the CAR, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, the institutions of the African Union, ECCAS, the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly and the EU Member States.

 

 

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Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0035.

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