29 April 2013
South Africa welcomes progress towards the resolution of the CAR situation
The South African government acknowledges the steady progress being made towards the resolution of the political and security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR).
On Sunday, 28 April 2013, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma received the Prime Minister of the CAR, Mr Nicholas Tiangaye, in Pretoria. The two leaders discussed the situation in CAR and the need to bring about stability in that country and the African continent.
On behalf of the people of CAR, Prime Minister Tiangaye expressed condolences to the people of South Africa and families of the 13 soldiers who lost their lives in Bangui, CAR.
The meeting between President Zuma and Prime Minister Tiangaye follows extensive diplomatic engagements at the level of the summits of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union and the United Nations regarding the political and security situation in the CAR.
South Africa participated in the ECCAS Extra-Ordinary Summit on the 3rd of April 2013 that decided that the government of the CAR, which was constituted after the 23rd of March 2013, is not recognised as a legitimate government. This decision was in line with the African Union (AU) statutes that outlaw unconstitutional changes of governments on the continent.
The position of the AU is very clear that there could be no recognition given to any government that comes to power through unconstitutional means, especially through a violent military coup such as the one in the CAR. South Africa supported this decision.
The same Summit then decided that a Transitional Structure should be formed to run the CAR in the interim and organise elections within 18 months. A delegation was sent to the CAR to communicate this decision of ECCAS.
A follow up ECCAS Summit then took place on the 19th of April 2013. The Summit was held in the presence of representatives of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the chairperson of the AU Commission, the President of the European Union Commission, the Secretary-General of International Organization of French Speaking Countries etc.
The Summit took note of the “act of the establishment of the Transition National Council and the appointment of the Head of State by this organ” in the CAR. This positive development which is in adherence to the decisions of the ECCAS Summit of the 3rd of April therefore necessitated recognition of the interim structure for purposes of restoring constitutional normalcy in the CAR.
During this Summit Heads of State and Government adopted a roadmap relative to the composition and the functioning of the NTC and agreed on “the setting up of an International Contact Group in charge of mobilising the necessary support to the success of the transition”.
South Africa continues to participate in the ECCAS process as invited, guided by the decisions of the ECCAS summits as well as those of the AU and the UN. South Africa’s diplomatic efforts in relation to the CAR situation are thus in line with the efforts of the ECCAS, the AU and the UN.
South Africa welcomes the efforts of the transitional government in the CAR to comply with the decisions of the ECCAS. We also welcome the CAR transitional government’s decision to strengthen its relations with South Africa, the ECCAS region, Africa and the international community.
The South African government will continue to play a positive and constructive role in conflict resolution and peace-keeping efforts on the African continent, guided by the vision of an African continent that is peaceful, prosperous and democratic.
For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on +27 82 884 5974
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road