Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Kayla Turner
Country: United Kingdom
Topic: Central African Republic
Delegate: Kayla Turner
School: Williamston High School
The political crisis in the Central African Republic is one familiar to this committee, and we have seen countless situations played out before us in which pervasive political instability undermines a country’s humanitarian status. It becomes all too easy to forget the urgency of this crisis as violence drags on over many years, and the death of an aid worker in September reminded us of the need to address this situation. Vacuums of power have instigated violence between militia groups which often ends in the fatalities of civilians, such as the 2016 Bria massacre in which 85 bystanders were killed. The refugee crisis arising from the forcible displacement of CAR peoples and inhumane circumstances which provide a push factor to relocate. This means there are not only 630,00 displaced within the CAR, but also a vast number of refugees from CAR seeking asylum internationally. The political instability, regional alienation and ethnic and religious violence all contribute towards alarming living conditions and violations of human rights. The most pressing issues the UK has identified are the recruitment of child soldiers, lack of sanitation and clean water, food shortages and demographic genocide. The main reasons for the persistence of these issues is the barriers to access, safety issues and lack of permanence caused by erratic power shifts in the governance of CAR.
In 2021, the UK supported a UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2588 in an attempt to sanction the actors in CAR by restricting the resources govern to them. This includes an arms embargo, travel ban and freezing of assets for the Central African Republic. However, this resolution has not been fully successful as Russia, Rwanda, France and Chad have allegedly supplied arms, training and military support to various groups within the country in what some have called a proxy war. The UK was also alarmed by the exemption with the UN’s resolution to allow mortars and low caliber weapons to be exchanged freely and greatly favors a solution in this committee reaching near complete disarmament to protect the citizens of the CAR. In the past, many peace treaties and deals have been signed and then quickly disregarded, such as the 2011 between CPJP and UFDR or the 2017 Rome agreement by the CAR to recognize the authority of municipal militia groups. The failure of these treaties and ceasefires arises from the inability of the UN or CAR central government to enforce terms agreed upon, and therefore a new approach must be considered which could mutually benefit all actors and foster continuity. The UK has worked closely providing funding for MINUSCA and support for the UN Human Rights Council to address humanitarian crises in the CAR. In 2015, the UK signed legislation reserving $7 million in aid specifically for CAR residents and refugees and would be amenable to providing further assistance so long as reasonable plans for the political future of the country are reached.
A multi-faceted approach must be taken to resolve the conflict in the CAR. Political instability being the driving factor in the humanitarian crises there, a strong, constitutional, humanitarian government needs to be fully established before permanent solutions to humanitarian issues can be solved. The UK has a strong commitment to disarmament and integration of militia factions into a stable, single government entity but recognizes that this may not be realistic at this time. Therefore the UK is also open to exploring solutions of gradual integration of governing bodies at a municipal level into more centralized organizations with weapons training to provide for the defense of individual districts who could fall to violent attacks by opposing religious groups. Solutions on the problem of refugees can be modelled after past actions by neighboring states Cameroon, Chad, DR Congo and Republic of Congo who accepted an influx of refugees from the region and further can be assisted by the UNHCR. Finally, the humanitarian issues in CAR though pressing will be difficult to address whilst the political situation remains volatile. The UK would suggest aid in the form of supplies, and not monetary aid which could be used towards arms buying, be provided conditionally to regional militias and authority figures in CAR as a means of negotiating disarmament and establishing geographical boundaries. The UK will unfailingly stand by its allies and commitment to conflict resolution, but is open to working with any delegation which offers a viable solution to this crisis. The UK would be most interested in working with groups most directly involved in the region, namely France and Russia, who could provide critical insight into the issue.