Annan extends mandate of UN mission in Central African Republic through 2006

In an exchange of letters, Mr. Annan told the Security Council that “the authorities of the Central African Republic have advised my Representative that they would like the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) to continue to assist them in their efforts towards building lasting peace, following the restoration of constitutional order in their country.”He recommends extending BONUCA’s mandate through 2006 to enable it to help the country build on the success of its recent elections – a proposal which was accepted by the Council.Support from BONUCA, particularly in strengthening political dialogue and promoting the rule of law, would help to create a climate conducive to reform, reconstruction and development, he said.President François Bozizé, while acknowledging that the primary responsibility for raising living standards rests with his Government, has stressed the need for greater involvement by the international community “in view of the major post-election challenges facing the Central African Republic,” Mr. Annan said.The challenges hindering the country’s recovery included the upsurge in cross-border banditry and the proliferation of weapons in the sub-region, he said.In view of the additional responsibilities, the Representative heading BONUCA would become a Special Representative with the rank of Assistant Secretary-General, according to the letter.