Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (26)

Joe Higgins

Question:

26. Deputy Joe Higgins asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the Government's position on the political and military situation in the Central African Republic; and his views on further intervention by foreign powers in that State. [28243/14]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Government remains seriously concerned at the situation in the Central African Republic. With our EU partners, we are supporting the efforts of the leader of the transitional Government, Ms. Catherine Samba-Panza, to negotiate an end to the conflict and to hold democratic elections by February 2015. We also support calls by the country’s religious leaders for all factions to lay down arms and enter dialogue.

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Eamon Gilmore, T.D. has highlighted the situation in the Central African Republic at recent meetings of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, and our views have been articulated through the UN Human Rights Council, including at last week’s dialogue in Geneva with the Independent Expert on the Central African Republic. On 23 June, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade highlighted the country’s appalling humanitarian situation at a high level meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council in New York.

Ireland has supported a strong EU response to the crisis. We have strongly welcomed the launch of the EU Mission to the Central African Republic on 1 April 2014, with a mandate to restore stability and protect civilians and humanitarian actors. We also welcome UN Security Council Resolution 2149 of 10 April 2014, establishing a UN mission to the country, which Ireland believes is the best mechanism to address the crisis and restore law and order.

Ireland is committed to addressing humanitarian needs in protracted crises, which often lack the funding they deserve. We have provided assistance to the Central African Republic since 2007, and have provided almost €19 million to the work of UN and NGO partners there since 2008.

We are continuing to monitor political and humanitarian developments and stand ready to provide further humanitarian assistance, in line with needs on the ground and the budgetary resources available.