Project Factsheet
Tools for » Strengthening capacity to monitor, analyse, report and address conflict-related sexual violence in the work of the United Nations Integrated Peace Building Office in the Central African Republic
Project ID 00081401 Description UNA025 DPA WPA in CAR
Fund
UN Action Agst Sexual Violence
Start Date *: 29 Aug 2012
Theme
UN Action Against Sexual Viole
Project status Operationally Closed
Country United Nations Participating Organization   UNDPA - UN Dept of Political Affairs
About

Since its establishment in 2010, BINUCA has been working in close cooperation with national and international partners to address the many challenges facing the Central Africa Republic (CAR), including: the implementation of the outcomes of the national dialogue; the presence of foreign armed groups including the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and Front Populaire pour le Redressement (FPR); the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR); the reform of the security sector (SSR); and the reinforcement of the rule of law. Since May 2011, the government has reached agreements with additional armed movements and rebel groups and has now launched the DDR process beginning in the North East with plans to expand to the rest of the many national militia groups. On 12 June, the Convention des Patriotes pour la Justice et la Paix (CPJP) signed a ceasefire agreement with the Government. On 27 August, the government signed a ceasefire agreement with Mohamat Salle, a dissident from the CPJP under the facilitation of the National Mediator and with BINUCA support.

The presence of foreign armed groups such as the FPR Chadian rebel group operating exclusively in the CAR and led by Baba Ladde has led some politico-military groups such as the Année Populaire pour la Restauration de la Democratie (APRD) to set the departure of the FPR from the CAR as a precondition to their participation in the DDR process. Despite the signing of a communiqué with the Chadian government on 13 June, setting the framework for his return to Chad and the repatriation of his combatants, Baba Ladde is yet to leave the CAR. Rather than leave, he is reportedly recruiting more militiamen from the region (Cameroon, DRC, Nigeria, Niger, Mali CAR, etc.) and has positioned himself more firmly in the CAR as a protector of the Peuls cattle herders.

Despite reconciliation efforts between the CPJP and UFDR in early August 2011 the security situation in the CAR remains very fragile. On 10 September 2011, the CPJP and Union des Forces Démocratiques pour le Rassemblement (UFDR) clashed in Bria and its vicinity. The one-week heavy fighting reportedly led to the death of 50 people and left another 67 injured, there were also reports of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV).

The conflict assumed an ethnic dimension with attacks and counter attacks by the Goulas and Rongas, with threat of escalation to other parts of the country where the same ethnic groups reside. The clash put the government in a very uncomfortable situation with regard to possible intervention by the Central Africa Armed Forces (FACA) as it had signed an agreement with each of the opposed politico military groups, and a move by FACA, if not well orchestrated could have led to the perception of bias toward one of them. On 8 October, the two armed groups signed a Ceasefire Agreement under the auspices of the Mediator of the Republic, with BINUCA's support. The Agreement provides for the establishment of a verification mechanism and conciliation committee. From 14 to 19 November, a peace and reconciliation caravan was successfully conducted to reduce tension and promote pacific coexistence, especially between local communities in the cities of Birao, Sam Ouandja, Sikikede, Tiringoulou and Ndele. The September clashes highlighted the absence of appropriate local mediation mechanisms and strategy to follow-up on the implementation of cease-fire agreements between the government and politico military groups and to ensure the linkage with the Libreville Peace Agreement, which is critical to build upon the momentum to consolidate the achievements of the peace process.

To date there are continued reports of incidents of CRSV in the CAR. The CPJP and road bandits, known as "Zaraguinas" or "Coupeurs de Route" (which operate in the north and east of the country) have been implicated in committing CRSV. In the southeast, the abduction of women and girls by LRA for use as sex slaves was reported by several survivors who were able to escape. A teenage girl, who escaped LRA in December 2010. told the United Nations that she had been abducted in October 2010 near Dungu, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and had then been taken to the CAR. Another documented case involved a 16-year old girl who had escaped from the LRA in January 2011 after two years in captivity.

Limited progress so far in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform processes, the continued presence of armed individuals and the absence of State authority in certain regions of the country contribute to a culture of impunity. The situation is compounded by the influx of returning refuges and internally displaced persons.

The lack of verified information on sexual violence, particularly in areas affected by armed conflict in CAR has given rise to serious issues of traceability, judicial redress and support to victims and survivors.

Efforts have been undertaken by the United Nations to address limitations related to the collection, management and sharing of GBV-related information (including conflict? related sexual violence). The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Working Group (including through support provided UNICEF, UNFPA) and the Global Gender-based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS) Surge Team are, for example operationalizing "Procedures to Prevent and Respond to GBV", mapping of partners providing services to survivors, and conducting several introductory sessions for the humanitarian community and mission stakeholders on the use and relevance of the GBVIMS in the context of CAR.

The government of CAR, despite its limited capacities to protect its citizens, has attempted to tackle impunity through a number of steps. These include:

Revision of the penal code, which was promulgated by presidential decree in January 2010. It recognizes sexual violence, including rape, as a crime.

Revision of the existing law on the protection of women against violence in the CAR (law No. 06.032) to strengthen the provisions on combating sexual violence. The draft revised law is expected to be reviewed by the National Assembly in 2012.

As part of addressing the issue of CRSV in CAR, and in support of the Government's initiatives, at the request of the Bureau Intégré des Nations Unies en Centrafrique (BINUCA) and the Department of Political Affairs, a UN Action Advisor for sexual violence undertook a mission to Bangui, from 27 March to 9 April 2011 in order to:

1. Examine conflict-related sexual violence in the Central African Republic (CAR),

2. Review the comprehensiveness of the UN, NGOs and Government's response; and,

3. Advise on priorities for strategic/technical support to address critical gaps.

The Advisor recommended allocation of sufficient funds and recruitment of a Women Protection ate implementation of the Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Arrangements (MARA) in CAR, as well as to build national capacity to address the issue.

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Contacts

If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in United Nations or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

The person with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

  • Laura Martin, Programme Analyst; Telephone: 1 914 924 4263; Email: martinl@un.org
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