Note to correspondents on MINUSCA

The UN Secretariat has concluded a review of the deployment of uniformed personnel from the Republic of Congo in the UN Mission in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA.

The UN recognises the importance of the sub-region in the resolution of the crisis in the Central African Republic and expresses its appreciation for the constructive role played by the Republic of Congo, and President Sassou-Nguesso as international mediator during the Transition and after the election of President Touadera, and looks forward to their continued political engagement to bring stability to the Central African Republic.

The review of the deployment of uniformed military personnel from the Republic of Congo found that the nature and extent of existing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, in their totality, point to systemic problems in command and control. These problems have also been compounded by issues related to the preparedness, overall discipline, maintenance of contingent owned equipment, and logistical capacity of these troops.

The outcome of the review has been shared with the authorities of the Republic of Congo, who have decided to withdraw their military personnel deployed in MINUSCA.

The Government of the Republic of Congo has reiterated its commitment to United Nations peacekeeping and stability in the Central African Republic. The Secretariat is working with the Republic of Congo and MINUSCA on the modalities for a speedy withdrawal that will have the least impact on the mission’s operational requirements and ability to implement its mandate.

The United Nations stands ready to assist the Republic of Congo authorities by identifying factors in the areas of leadership and command, performance, conduct and readiness, to enable them to address these gaps and for Republic of Congo military contingents to be eventually considered for future deployment to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Failures identified with the military contingent are not reflected by the performance of the police contingent from the Republic of Congo, also deployed with MINUSCA. Therefore, the police contingent will be retained. Nonetheless, the Republic of Congo authorities have been requested to urgently inform the United Nations of accountability measures they have taken regarding the one substantiated allegation of sexual abuse involving a Republic of Congo police personnel.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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IMF Staff Concludes Visit to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

  • The country needs to reduce macroeconomic imbalances to more sustainable levels and restore economic growth in order to preserve macroeconomic stability.
  • Discussions on macroeconomic policies and structural reforms have been productive, with good progress made on the policies and reforms that the country needs to undertake.
  • To preserve macroeconomic stability and rebuild buffers it is necessary to substantially reduce the fiscal deficit, which would require both increasing non-oil tax revenues and reducing the level of expenditures.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team, led by Lisandro Ábrego, visited Equatorial Guinea from June 7-20 to initiate discussions on a possible program.

At the end of the visit, Mr. Ábrego issued the following statement in Malabo today:

“Like other countries in the region, Equatorial Guinea has been strongly affected by the decline in oil prices that began in 2014, which has been compounded by declining hydrocarbon production. Fiscal and external imbalances have widened and the economy has contracted. The country now needs to reduce macroeconomic imbalances to more sustainable levels and restore economic growth in order to preserve macroeconomic stability. It also needs to increase economic diversification through the development of the non-hydrocarbon sector to achieve sustained, inclusive economic growth.

“We have held discussions on an economic policy package that would help address these challenges. Substantial progress has been made during the visit in terms of gathering macroeconomic data and information on the authorities’ policy initiatives. Discussions on macroeconomic policies and structural reforms have also been held and have been productive, with progress made on the policies and reforms that the country needs to undertake. Further economic data and information would be required to continue moving toward the formulation of a full-fledged economic policy package to respond effectively to the country’s current economic situation.

“The team and the authorities agreed that to preserve macroeconomic stability and rebuild buffers it is necessary to substantially reduce the fiscal deficit, which would require both increasing non-oil tax revenues and reducing the level of expenditures. Improving the conditions for economic growth outside the hydrocarbon sector and promoting diversification would, in turn, require reforming the business climate to make private investment in this sector more attractive. The team supported the authorities’ plans to become a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). It was also agreed that increased and more regular publication of fiscal data and information would be needed to raise fiscal transparency.

“It is expected that policy discussions with the Equatoguinean authorities will continue over the next weeks. The specific details of an economic policy package are expected to be worked out in a subsequent round of discussions.

“IMF staff met with President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Prime Minister Francisco Pascual Obama Asue, Minister of Finance Miguel Engonga Obiang, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbega Obiang Lima, Secretary of State for the Treasury Milagrosa Obono Angüe, other senior government officials, and representatives of the private sector, civil society and the diplomatic community.

“The team would like to thank the authorities and representatives for a cordial and productive dialogue and for their cooperation and hospitality.”

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Staff Concludes Visit to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

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Martin Kobler: After six years of displacement, the swift return of Tawerghan IDPs is crucial

Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya and head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Martin Kobler, urges the Presidency Council to make concrete arrangements for the swift implementation of the Misrata-Tawergha agreement endorsed this week and to ensure that its implementation conforms to international human rights standards. He further stressed that the implementation of this agreement should be carried out in a fully transparent and accountable manner.

“I am pleased that after six years of displacement the Tawerghans can finally return home. Ensuring that their return is safe, voluntary and unconditional must be a top priority and here the United Nations stands ready to support,” said Martin Kobler. “This agreement is the first step toward developing a much-needed broader national reconciliation process, to address outstanding issues of truth-seeking, justice and reparation for all victims of war crimes and human rights violations,” he added.

UNSMIL has facilitated a mediation process between the Tawergha and Misrata communities since 2015. In August 2016, the two communities adopted an agreement, submitting it for PC’s endorsement in March 2017, after introducing some amendments.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL).

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“Nimble and pro-active” peacekeeping response to be replicated in other crisis situations in South Sudan

United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan have been praised by the most senior UN official in the country for a “nimble and pro-active” response in support of humanitarians dealing with an emergency.

David Shearer, the Head of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, was speaking in Aburoc in the Upper Nile region where up to 25,000 people had taken refuge from conflict.

The village, which numbered some 5,000 people before the arrival of the displaced people, was lacking in water, food and health services.

UNMISS helicoptered in 80 Rwandan peacekeepers together with armoured vehicles to Aburoc at the beginning of April creating better security conditions for the arrival of the humanitarian community, two days later.

Mr Shearer, who is also the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, in South Sudan said “the presence of peacekeeping troops undoubtedly provided the security and confidence that humanitarian agencies needed to operate in this remote and dangerous area.”

“A cholera outbreak was stopped,” he added, “and hundreds of lives were saved as a result of this combined action together with a highly effective response by humanitarian agencies.”

“With the possibility that Aburoc was going to become a humanitarian disaster area it was important that everyone moved quickly,” Mr Shearer said. “I was very pleased peacekeepers were ready to deploy nimbly and proactively. A light and effective footprint on the ground was what was needed.”

“It’s great that UNMISS has shown this response to an emergency situation and are ready should another crisis occur in other parts of South Sudan,” he added.

The UNMISS deployment to Aburoc was planned to last a month but was extended by two weeks.

Humanitarian agencies remain in Aburoc providing life-saving services to the almost 11,000 people who remain there. UNMISS support is being continued through air patrols from Malakal.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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