China, Russia slam extension of CAR arms embargo


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from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
CAR Bureau
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – CHINA and Russia have denounced the extension of the arms embargo against the Central African Republic (CAR) as a threat to the volatile country maintaining its security and sovereignty.

The two countries this week abstained from a United Nations (UN) Security Council vote that extended the embargo by another year, to the end of July 2024.

Thirteen countries, including, predictably, the United States (US) and United Kingdom (UK), proponents of sanctions against developing countries, voted in favour of the extension.

A Security Council document seen by CAJ News Africa, explained the decision by China and Russia to abstain.

Dmitry Polyanskiy, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN, said his country abstained as the sanctions hinder efforts by the Central African Armed Forces to combat illegal armed groups and have not added any value to prevent the entry of arms into the country.

“The sanctions regime should be approached in a sober, rational way and include modalities to meet the needs of the Central African Republic while curbing arms smuggling,” the envoy stated.

Polyanskiy said moreover, the Council should review its stance on CAR, correct elements of the sanctions regime that are no longer needed and remove any form of sanctions that intrude on the efforts of a sovereign state to maintain its security.

Zhang Jun, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, also called for a complete lifting of all sanctions.

“For this reason, China had to abstain,” the Chinese envoy explained.

“The ten-year long Council-mandated embargo no longer meets the country’s needs and hinders its ability to maintain its security.”

Jun, overall, stressed China’s belief that the Security Council should consider lifting unnecessary sanctions throughout Africa in a timely manner.

Sylvie Baïpo Temon, Minister for Foreign Affairs in CAR, slammed the language carried in the resolution as “confused and vague.”

“This is an arbitrary decision that the people of the Central African Republic cannot accept,” she stressed.

Temon said it was “unacceptable and intolerable” and “a matter of dignity” to equate a sovereign state with armed groups.

– CAJ News




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