Mrs Bangura visits the CAR to follow-up on commitments made in the fight against sexual violence in conflict
BANGUI, Central African Republic, March 17, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, arrived in Bangui on 17 March for a 3 day visit. Among other goals, she will interact with the transition authorities on matters relating to the prevention of sexual violence in conflict.
In the CAR, Mrs Bangura will also monitor the implementation of two communiqués jointly signed in December 2012 by the United Nations and the CAR Authorities, through which the Government had made a number of commitments including “the adoption of legislation on protection of women from violence (Law N0. 06.032); revision of the Penal Code and Penal Procedure Act to recognize sexual violence, including rape, as a crime; incorporating provisions of the Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual violence against women and children of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) into national legislation; and preparing a draft national plan for implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000)”.
“My visit is also intended to send a strong and clear message towards the perpetrators: wherever they are, they will be prosecuted and punished,” said Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, stressing that “the protection of populations, especially women and children, are among the priorities of the United Nations. “
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General is paying a second visit of to the CAR to lend support to the efforts of national and international partners to address the crisis. In addition to the highest authorities of the Transition, She will meet with political and religious leaders, civil society, including women’s groups and youth groups, as well as international and diplomatic representations and international forces, MISCA and Sangaris. Mrs Zainab Hawa Bangura’s agenda also includes a visit to Bossangoa (East).
The SRSG is mandated to provide coherent and strategic leadership to address sexual violence in armed conflict; engage in advocacy efforts with governments, including military and judicial representatives, all parties to armed conflict and civil society; and strengthen existing UN coordination mechanisms, and promote cooperation and coordination of efforts among all relevant stakeholders, primarily through UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action).
The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (OSRSG-SVC) was established in 2009 pursuant to Security Council resolution 1888, which seeks to strengthen the response to conflict-related sexual violence by assigning high-level leadership, building judicial response expertise, strengthening service provision for victims and building reporting mechanisms.