United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on the international community to support the peacebuilding and recovery strategy of the conflict-ravaged Central African Republic (CAR).
On the third day of his visit to CAR, the UN chief said "there must be resources available for this country to have the solidarity it deserves to ensure its citizens a dignified life, and to ensure that government projects turn into a reality of peace, stability and prosperity."
In a UN press released issued here, Guterres highlighted the four linked components - security, state-building, national reconciliation and development - that shape the country's vision for peacebuilding and recovery, while speaking to reporters in the nation's capital, Bangui.
On the security front, Guterres noted that the UN Security Council has been asked to strengthen the capacity of its peacekeeping mission and its operational capacity to better protect civilians in the CAR.
The secretary-general also called on armed groups to lay down their weapons so that they can participate in the political process of the country.
Noting that almost all religious conflicts he knows are caused by political manipulation, Guterres urged political, community and religious leaders in CAR to work towards true national reconciliation.
"Central African religious communities - Christians, Muslims and others - have always lived together," he said. "It is imperative that political leaders, leaders of armed groups and community religious leaders call for genuine reconciliation, mutual respect, and the understanding that everyone must live together to build the new Central African Republic."
"We cannot leave the Central Africans abandoned. Everyone needs to be mobilized to help this country build a future that Central Africans deserve," he emphasized.