SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVES BRIEF U.N. ON AFRICAN CHILDREN TRAPPED IN VIOLENT CONFLICT ZONES

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[African News]
During her briefing, Ms. Patten stressed the importance for lasting peace of reflecting the concerns and needs of the entire population, including survivors of sexual violence in conflict. On that note, she highlighted that women and girls are often raped during vital livelihood activities, such as walking to farms or marketplaces, or while fleeing insecurity caused by roving armed groups.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On 29 July 2019, Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, and Pramila Patten, above, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, briefed the 2127 Sanctions Committee concerning the Central African Republic and the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict.

The joint informal consultations focused on issues concerning children in armed conflict, including sexual violence against them committed by the armed groups in the Central African Republic, as well as on sexual violence against women in the context of the mandate of the 2127 Sanctions Committee.

In her briefing, Ms. Gamba highlighted that the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict (document S/2019/509), listed three parties under the Central African Republic: the former Séléka coalition and associated armed groups, the Anti-Balaka associated militias and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The mentioned armed groups were listed in the report for a number of violations, including recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals and abduction.

Ms. Gamba noted, however, that two armed groups, members of the ex-Séléka coalition, had signed action plans with the United Nations to stop and prevent grave violations against children. In total, since 2014, more than 13,800 boys and girls have been released by armed groups due to continued dialogue. Finally, Ms. Gamba commended the 6 February 2019 Peace Agreement, while noting that grave violations against children continued even after the signing of the agreement.

During her briefing, Ms. Patten stressed the importance for lasting peace of reflecting the concerns and needs of the entire population, including survivors of sexual violence in conflict. On that note, she highlighted that women and girls are often raped during vital livelihood activities, such as walking to farms or marketplaces, or while fleeing insecurity caused by roving armed groups.

Members of the Committee and Working Group noted the briefings and expressed support for the work of both Special Representatives. They condemned the deplorable violations and abuses against women and children in the Central African Republic and, in this context, voiced concern over the violations of the Agreement.

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