Turkish FM urges action plan for CAR
Thursday, February 20, 2014
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Turkey`s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to prepare an action plan including a political process, humanitarian assistance and security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) as the country faces the imminent danger of disintegration and permanent division as the situation is weakening state authority and the rule of law.
Ahmet Davutoglu said during an OIC meeting on Thursday that the situation is deteriorating as tens of thousands of Muslims are moving to the north of the country and taking refuge in neighboring countries.
He expressed gratitude to the governments of Chad and Cameroon for their efforts to accommodate the refugees.
"We (Turkey) are ready to work with them on the humanitarian issue and are always at their disposal," he said.
"The violence, which has led to the killing of dozens of Muslims and their mass exodus from the CAR, poses a serious threat not only to the future of the country itself, but to regional peace, security and stability."
The violence-torn CAR descended into anarchy in March 2013 when Seleka rebels – said to be mostly Muslim – ousted Francois Bozize, a Christian, who came to power in a 2003 coup. The rebels later installed Michel Djotodia, a Muslim, as interim president. In the months since, the country has been plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between Christian anti-balaka militias and former Seleka fighters.
Davutoglu urged the OIC to appoint a special envoy to the CAR. He also said Turkey is sending a Special Representative and a humanitarian assessment team to Bangui next week, while reiterating that Turkey will strongly support and participate in any initiative that would bring an end to the crisis in the CAR.
The minister called on the interim government of the CAR to focus all its efforts on ensuring the security of the entire civilian population, regardless of their religious background.
"It is of the utmost importance that we ensure that all of the perpetrators of violence and murder, bordering on crimes against humanity, be held accountable," he added.
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