FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FACT SHEET: U.S. Support for the Central African Republic
The United States remains concerned about the people of the CAR and continues efforts to support restoration of security, provide humanitarian aid while promoting accountability, reconciliation and democratic governance. We are working closely with African, European and UN partners as well as international and non-governmental organizations to marshal resources and coordinate activities designed to prevent further atrocities in the CAR. The significant support we have provided for international security efforts in the CAR and the engagement on CAR issues by senior U.S. officials, including six visits in the past four months, reflects our commitment to supporting the people of the CAR.
U.S. Engagement and Presence
The United States supports a sustained international security and civilian presence in the CAR in order to more fully support the delivery of humanitarian aid, MISCA and French efforts to restore security, conflict prevention, reconciliation, accountability, and the political process leading to free and fair elections. We are moving to reopen our Embassy in Bangui as quickly as security conditions allow.
In addition to Ambassador Power’s two visits over the past four months in the company of Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, there have been five other visits by senior U.S. officials since November 2013:
n USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Nancy Lindborg and an interagency team visited January 17-19 to assess humanitarian needs.
n Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Anne Richard visited April 7 to review refugee assistance programs.
n Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Rashad Hussain led an interfaith group of U.S. religious leaders who visited April 8 to support CAR civil society and its efforts to promote religious tolerance and reconciliation.
n State Department Senior Advisor for the CAR David Brown visited in February 25-27, accompanied by a senior official from the U.S. Broadcast Board of Governors. He also visited November 5-9, 2013 to participate in the meeting of the International Contact Group for the CAR.
Beyond visits to the CAR itself, senior U.S. officials have worked to increase support for security and humanitarian response for the people of the CAR, including at the following conferences designed to support an international response to the crisis:
n USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Nancy Lindborg and an interagency team participated in the January 20 CAR donors conference in Brussels.
n Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield led an interagency team that participated in the February 1 MISCA donors conference held in Addis Ababa on the margins of the African Union Summit.
n State Department Senior Advisor for the CAR David Brown participated in the March 21 meeting of the International Contact Group for the CAR held in Brazzaville.
As we have previously announced, the United States has committed up to $100 million to support restoring security in CAR. This includes:
· Airlift for over 1700 peacekeepers and their equipment from Burundi and Rwanda as part of the up to $60 million in defense services for French forces and defense articles and services for the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) troop contributors. We are also providing personal protective equipment, communications gear, and materials for construction of defensive fortifications.
· $40 million in funding to support MISCA and its troop contributing countries (TCCs). This support includes provision of non-lethal equipment, to include the 37 trucks handed over to MISCA this month, as well as procurement of approximately 200 additional vehicles to include armored personnel carriers, 4x4s, troop carriers, logistics trucks, fuel tankers, recovery vehicles, and ambulances for MISCA TCCs.
· A team of U.S. liaison officers is assisting in coordinating U.S. support to MISCA.
· The United States also continues to provide significant logistical and advisory support to the African Union Regional Task Force (AU-RTF) to counter the regional threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). In eastern CAR, the presence of AU-RTF forces has provided protection to communities and helped to prevent the instability and violence from spreading.
· The United States supports the creation of a UN peacekeeping operation in the CAR and is working with other members of the UN Security Council to authorize the creation of an effective mission that will build on African, French and European efforts to restore security and protect civilians. The UN peacekeeping operation will provide broader and more comprehensive support to humanitarian, governance, justice and accountability, and reconciliation efforts as well as supporting the CAR government as it takes steps to better serve the people of the CAR.
The United States has provided over $45 million of humanitarian assistance in FY 2014 already, on top of the more than $24 million we provided in FY 2013.
Today, we announce an additional $22 million in humanitarian aid for the people of CAR, bringing our total in FY 2014 to nearly $67 million. This new assistance includes:
· More than $8.8 million for health, protection, economic recovery, relief commodities, water and sanitation efforts for non-governmental organizations and the World Health Organization from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance.
· $8.5 million for the World Food Program and UNICEF to support general food distributions and supplementary feeding for internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and conflict affected populations throughout CAR from USAID’s Office of Food for Peace.
· $4.6 million to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross to conduct protection activities and provide multi-sectoral assistance to refugees, IDPs, and conflict affected populations throughout CAR from the Department of State’s Population, Refugees and Migration.
Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation
We continue to support efforts to mitigate conflict and promote reconciliation between the varied communities, ethnic groups and religions in the the CAR.
· We have supported initiatives to promote religious tolerance, including yesterday’s visit by an interfaith delegation of U.S. religious leaders, which concluded with the signing of a declaration supporting efforts to promote reconciliation and peace in CAR.
· We welcomed a delegation of CAR religious leaders to the United States in March, which followed up on a State Department-hosted interfaith dialogue in January, making clear our strong support for efforts by CAR residents to encourage interfaith dialogue and oppose religious violence. We also encouraged U.S. faith-based and development organizations to leverage their networks to get involved in the peace building and relief effort.
· We continue to support ongoing community protection and conflict mitigation work in areas in CAR affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army.
· We have provided more than $7.6 million to support conflict mitigation, peace-messaging and reconciliation efforts.
Justice and Accountability
Recognizing the importance of justice for victims and accountability for perpetrators of atrocities, we are working with the Commission of Inquiry created by UN Security Council Resolution 2127.
· We provided technical assistance and advice to the United Nations on the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry, and we continue to support the efforts undertaken by the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the CAR, who is providing technical assistance and advice to the CAR transitional authorities and civil society actors to improve the human rights situation in the CAR.
· We are working with our UN partners to seek to impose targeted measures to sanction individuals engaging in or providing support for actions that undermine the peace, stability or security of the CAR.