UN supports the re-establishment of core public services in Central African Republic
Bangui, CAR -- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), working in partnership with the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) and the World Bank, has taken steps to resume the payment of salaries of civil servants in the Central African Republic.
As part of its efforts to safeguard core government services in the capital Bangui, UNDP transferred half of the USD 4.6 million from the United Nations Peace-building Fund to the Bank of Central African States, which will cover 3,417 police and gendarmerie salaries from May to August. In parallel, the World Bank will be paying the salaries of the rest of the civil service.
The sectarian violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), compounded by a complete breakdown in security, State authority and the rule of law, has resulted in thousands of deaths, forced hundreds of thousands to flee and created a burgeoning humanitarian crisis.
“If police aren’t on a proper payroll, the chances they will help to maintain law and order are very slim. In the present situation, which is extremely volatile, making sure they get a salary payment is a good start,” said Aurélien Agbénonci, UNDP Resident Representative in the Central African Republic.
The payments are being made through a UNDP-managed multi-partner trust fund, following a verification exercise jointly undertaken by UNDP with the World Bank in May 2014, which produced a payroll of approximately 20,000 vetted civil servants.
The gendarmes and police officers are patrolling the streets of Bangui with the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) and French Sangaris troops helping to reinforce law and order in the streets of the capital.
The effort follows United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s appeal, in February, for immediate global action to stabilize the security situation, finance the new Transitional Government and lay the basis for the restoration of the justice sector and eventual reconciliation.
The United Nations Peacebuilding Commission has also underscored the importance for the UN to quickly help the Transitional Government to re-establish civilian law and order.
In May, the Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, Andre Nzapayeke, welcomed the payroll, saying it was “dictated by the need to respect the basic rules of good governance."
Police trainings will be expected to take place in the fall of 2014, building the capacities of police officers and gendarmes to investigate and prosecute crimes in collaboration with the judicial branch. This will build on the material support already provided by UNDP and the Peacebuilding Fund, including vehicles for conducting joint patrols of the capital.