African Union


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Delegation: The Gabonese Republic Committee: African Union Topic 1: Reducing violence in Central Africa between military and paramilitary groups and the recruitment of child soldiers

Since the mid-twentieth century, many Central African countries have experienced independence, providing hope for a better future for their citizens. Nevertheless, a huge majority of them have been marked by instability and violence, stemming mostly from inner tensions. The Gabonese Republic is really pleased to be one of the region's more stable countries, with few tensions regarding its neighbouring countries. Yet, Gabon is fully aware of the priceless asset of security and stability. Despite the small size of its army -6700 soldiers- and its low population -1.7 million inhabitants-, Gabon is a longstanding state committed to peacekeeping operations in Central Africa, from bilateral treaties to missions carried out alongside other countries and mandated by regional or international organizations. As early as 1997, Gabonese troops have been deployed in the Central African Republic as part of the Inter-African Mission for Monitoring the Bangui Agreements. Today, 500 Gabonese soldiers are deployed at Bangui, in the context of the UN mission MINUSCA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) to help exit from the politico-military crisis in CAR. Thereupon, under the banner of the United Nations, Gabon is proactively committed to reducing violence in Central Africa between military and paramilitary groups, and strongly condemns the recruitment of child soldiers. [1]

The Gabonese Republic recognizes that Central Africa is one of the most volatile regions on the continent where poor governance, armed conflicts and transnational crime contribute to the persistent insecurity of states and peoples. Gabon clearly backs up the Joint Statement on the Central African Republic [2] made on 18th February 2017 to condemn the acts of violence perpetrated by the Popular Front for the Renaissance (FPRC) and by the Union for Peace in Central African Republic (UPC) rebels, that have caused heavy civilian losses and significant population displacement, thereby worsening an already alarming humanitarian situation. As a matter of facts, it is worth knowing that more than 850,000 people have been displaced because of the fighting—most of them women and children. [3] 
Gabon is fully aware of the nightmare children are living in Central Africa, as described in the report of the Secretary-General on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children.[4] Unicef also reports that violence threatens 2.3 million children, and that at least 6,000 children have been recruited into armed groups, forced to fight, to carry supplies or victims of sexual abuses. In the light of these elements, the Gabonese Republic urges the Committee to transform into concrete measures the Resolution 2225 on Children and armed conflict adopted by the Security Council on 18 June 2015 [5]: it is high time to set up a plan to provide appropriate reintegration and rehabilitation assistance to children affected by armed conflict, including access to health care, psychosocial support, and education programmes. This plan should focus on the specific needs of girls – particularl...