Welcoming renewed UN commitment to peace in Central African Republic

LWF in CAR is supporting displaced communities with food security by supporting groups of agricultural producers and through school feeding programs. Photo: LWF/Central African Republic.

LWF representatives carry message to UN officials

(LWI) - A decision by the United Nations (UN) Security Council on 15 November to add a further 900 peacekeepers to the UN mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been welcomed by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF).

Earlier this month a group of 28 local and international organisations, including the LWF, wrote to the members of the UN Security Council, expressing concerns about the escalating levels of violence against civilians across the Central African Republic (CAR) and advocating for the renewal of the mandate of UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA). Current levels of insecurity exceed those of 2014 when the mission was established, as does the severity of the humanitarian crisis now gripping the country.

It is an absolute priority that civilians and humanitarian workers are protected.
Nicole Attro, Team Leader for the LWF in CAR

Nicole Attro, Team Leader for the LWF in CAR, said it “is an absolute priority that civilians and humanitarian workers are protected. It is vital to strengthen the role of the police to combat impunity, ensure safety for civilians, and protect infrastructure like schools and health clinics.” She discussed these matters with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, during his recent visit to CAR.

Dennis Frado, main representative at UN headquarters for the LWF said “we welcome this decision because we have been reinforcing the message from our partners in CAR and the recommendations of the Secretary General. Protection of civilians, humanitarian access and protection of aid workers is of paramount concern for the people of CAR and those assisting them.”

The situation in the country has been worsening in recent months, with fighting forcing civilians to flee their homes, and rendering 2.4 million civilians in need of humanitarian assistance. The UN mission in CAR, known by its initials MINUSCA, has had some notable successes in preventing or controlling violence, but its 10,000 peacekeepers are spread thin over a country the size of France. Issues of poor performance have also dogged the mission, and damaged trust among local communities.

The LWF Country Program in CAR is supporting displaced communities and their host villages with water sanitation and hygiene. Food security is another focus for LWF, improving livelihood and resilience, by supporting groups of agricultural producers and through school feeding programs. 

LWF is also engaged in peace building activities. This is done through inter-communal dialogue and by working with youth ambassadors, community leaders, and other members of local conflict management committees discussing issues like gender based violence, discrimination and other communal conflicts.

LWF is engaged in diakonia initiatives with its member church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Central African Republic, supporting the resilience of rural communities.  

Read the letter here

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