Children and armed conflict in the Central African Republic – Report of the Secretary-General (S / 2021/882) – Central African Republic

Summary

This report, submitted in accordance with the Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict, is the Secretary-General’s fifth report on children and armed conflict in the Central African Republic and covers the period from July 2019 to June 2021. The report discusses the effects of cycles of violence on children in the country, highlighting trends and patterns of the six grave violations against children and contains information, where applicable, on the perpetrators. The progress made by the parties to the conflict in terms of dialogue, action plans and other commitments on child protection is also highlighted. The report provides a series of recommendations addressed to all parties to the conflict aimed at ending and preventing serious violations against children and strengthening child protection in the Central African Republic.

Introduction

  1. This report, submitted in accordance with the Security Council resolution 1612 (2005) and subsequent resolutions on children and armed conflict, is the fifth report on the situation of children affected by armed conflict in the Central African Republic and covers the period from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021. The report provides an overview of political developments and security in the Central African Republic, describes the trends and patterns of grave violations against children since the previous report (S / 2019/852) and presents the progress and challenges in improving the situation of children since the adoption of the conclusions of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict in June 2020 (S / AC.51 / 2020/3). The perpetrators of serious violations are, to the extent possible, identified in this report. In the annexes to the latest report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict (A / 75/873S / 2021/437), the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC), the Patriotic Movement for the Central African Republic (MPC) and the Union pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC) as part of the former Séléka coalition are listed for recruitment and use, killing and mutilation, rape and sexual violence, and attacks on schools and hospitals among parties that have put in place measures to improve the protection of children. Local defense militias known as anti-balaka are listed for recruitment and use, murder and mutilation, and rape and sexual violence among parties that have not put in place measures to improve child protection. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is listed for recruitment and use, murder and mutilation, rape and sexual violence, and kidnapping among parties that have not put in place measures to improve child protection.

  2. The violations described in this report were verified by the Country Monitoring and Reporting Task Force, co-chaired by the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the United Nations Fund. United Nations for Children (UNICEF). Grave violations against children have been committed mainly by armed groups. Government, bilaterally deployed and other security personnel also perpetrated violations, particularly in the first half of 2021. Monitoring and reporting violations were hampered by security and logistical constraints that limited access throughout the reporting period. The spread of the coronavirus disease pandemic (COVID-19) and the associated restrictions, electoral and post-electoral violence at the end of 2020 and in the first half of 2021 and the breakdowns of communication networks accompanied by the use of explosive devices have also negatively affected the ability of the country task force to monitor and report serious violations. The information presented in the report therefore does not represent the full extent of serious violations committed against children in the country.