CAR Ministry of Justice boosted by electoral and Covid-19 support

7 Oct 2020

CAR Ministry of Justice boosted by electoral and Covid-19 support

Maria Kabatanya

MINUSCA today delivered vital electoral and Covid-19 support to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Central African Republic (CAR) in Bangui – part of a joint MINUSCA and UNDP project to support judicial institutions in the country.

500 copies of the “Practical Guide to Electoral Offenses in the Central African Republic” and 500 copies of a compilation of electoral laws, including the Electoral Code of 20 August 2019 and its amending law were handed over to the CAR national authorities. 

Produced by MINUSCA’s Judicial and Penitentiary Affairs Section as part of its mandate to support capacity building for judicial institutions and the organization of a peaceful 2020/2021 CAR election cycle, the guide responds to a need to popularize Central African law among judicial actors. It will serve as a fact sheet on electoral offences, both pre-voting and post-voting – to help judicial officials involved in the electoral process better understand the relevant legal provisions in electoral matters and the scope of their responsibilities as well as offer practical steps to effectively carry out their work.

A large batch of protective equipment was simultaneously handed over to the Ministry of Justice, to enable the country's courts to continue to provide public services while helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Judicial activities in the CAR were severely impacted by the onset of the pandemic – with justice sometimes delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. The equipment – valued at 27 million CFA – is primarily intended for the Court of Cassation, Court of Appeal and high courts in 18 jurisdictions and includes handwashing devices and hand sanitizer, protective masks, laser thermometers, disinfectant, liquid soap, latex gloves as well as drinking water storage tanks.

 Stephane Goana, a Ministry of Justice representative, thanked MINUSCA and UNDP for their assistance and partnership with the CAR judicial authorities. “I am thrilled to receive this support in the administering of justice. As you know, one of our greatest challenges at this exceptional time is to ensure that judicial staff are protected and that the pursuit of justice continues to function,” he said.

“The equipment will enable several jurisdictions in Bangui, Bocaranga, Boaur, Bozoum and elsewhere to protect public health and improve the working conditions of judicial personnel in the face of the pandemic, so that they may continue to respond to people’s demand for justice,” said Dako Fortuné, the MINUSCA Deputy Head of the Judicial and Penitentiary Affairs Section.