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Joint visit

German Development Minister Müller visits Central African Republic


German Development Minister Gerd Müller with the French Minister Delegate attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Development Minister Pascal Canfin, and EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs in Bangui

13.03.2014 |

Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment, is the first member of the German gov­ern­ment to travel to the Central African Republic to gain an impression of the situ­a­tion there.

On Thursday evening, he will have a meeting in the capital, Bangui, with the French Minister Delegate attached to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, De­vel­op­ment Minister Pascal Canfin; EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs; and Erik Solheim, chair of the OECD's De­vel­op­ment Assistance Committee (DAC).

Their joint visit was arranged as a result of the talks between Minister Müller and his French counterpart Canfin during the French-German ministerial council in Paris on 19 February. During that meeting, they adopted a joint declaration, agreed a number of co­op­er­a­tion projects, and decided to visit the Central African Republic together.

Minister Müller said, "The in­ter­national com­mu­ni­ty needs to take joint, coordinated action. This joint visit together with my French counterpart Canfin, EU Commissioner Piebalgs and DAC chair Solheim is an im­por­tant signal in that regard. In view of the escalating crisis and the dramatic emergency in the Central African Republic, Germany needs to help alleviate the disastrous living conditions faced by millions of people within the CAR and by refugees in neighbouring coun­tries. Humanitarian action and security and stabilisation measures need to go hand in hand. Civilian involvement in the form of transitional assistance therefore needs to complement the purely humanitarian efforts and needs to help build stable social structures."  

Minister Müller and the delegation will use the visit to gain an impression of the situ­a­tion on the ground and to discuss aid measures. Their itinerary includes a meeting with Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza and talks with representatives of aid agencies, including the World Food Programme, the In­ter­national Red Cross and human rights organisations.

The Central African Republic is one of the poorest coun­tries in the world and is currently going through a crisis of enormous proportions. The United Nations is considering the situ­a­tion a level 3 emergency (the highest level). The entire popu­la­tion, 4.6 million people, are suffering under violence and hunger. The renewed conflict was caused by a coup by a predominantly Muslim rebel coalition. Violence between Christians and Muslims has since been escalating. Looting and killings are widespread. The situ­a­tion is considered to be out of control. An estimated 700,000 people have been displaced since violence erupted in the beginning of 2014. Most social infrastructure has been destroyed. In addition to the rising number of internally displaced people, there is a growing flow of refugees to neighbouring coun­tries. It is estimated that more than 70,000 people have fled for Chad, more than 60,000 for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more than 10,000 for Cameroon.

France is currently supporting an African Union peacekeeping force which is to stop the coun­try from breaking apart and disarm the competing military factions.

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