STATEMENT BY SECRETARY KERRY
The United States is deeply concerned by renewed inter-religious violence in the Central African Republic (CAR). We condemn attacks by both anti-Balaka and Seleka groups in Bangui and the provinces. We are also deeply disturbed by reports that some CAR leaders may be supporting attacks by anti-Balaka and Seleka, respectively, instead of working for peace and reconciliation.
Preventing the violence from gaining further momentum and costing more lives will require all of CAR’s leaders, past and present, to be clear in condemning it. We urge CAR’s past and present political leaders – including senior officials in the previous Bozize and Djotodia administrations such as Francois Bozize and Noureddine Adam – to call on their supporters to cease any and all attacks on civilians. The United States is prepared to consider targeted sanctions against those who further destabilize the situation, or pursue their own selfish ends by abetting or encouraging the violence. We will continue to work tirelessly with our international partners to hold accountable all those responsible for atrocities committed in CAR.
Last week’s selection of a transitional government offers the people of CAR an opportunity to rebuild their society and restore their tradition of tolerance. Today, I reiterate President Obama’s call for the citizens of CAR to follow a path of peace, rather than one of violence and retribution. The United States stands with Transitional President Samba-Panza as she seeks to bring all the parties together to end the violence foster reconciliation, and move her country toward elections not later than February 2015.
Restoring security in CAR is vital to stopping the violence and ending the dire humanitarian crisis jeopardizing the lives of the millions throughout the country. We continue to support efforts by the African Union, regional leaders, and our French allies to disarm all armed groups. We are transporting, equipping, training, and providing logistical support to African-led International Support Mission (MISCA) troops and have committed up to $101 million to do so.
We commend the commitment of the French, regional leaders of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union, and other members of the international community to helping to restore stability to CAR. We urge all neighboring countries to ensure that no arms or other support to armed groups in the CAR transits their borders, and to take steps to prevent individuals on their territory from fueling the conflict.