UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has recommended that the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINURCA) should stay on in the country until presidential elections scheduled for the latter half of this year. In his latest report to the Security Council on the mission, Annan said MINURCA “has been and remains a source of much needed stability” in the country and the subregion as a whole, the UN information service reported yesterday. Welcoming a letter addressed to him by President Ange Felix Patasse outlining the government’s commitments to carry out a number of reforms, Annan said they represent an indispensable condition for further progress. According to the Secretary-General, satisfactory action on these commitments could result in the early participation of the opposition, adoption by the National Assembly of a budget and legislation to restructure the armed forces. He suggested an initial extension of the MINURCA mandate for a period of six months until 31 August, subject to a further determination by the Security Council after three months that the government has made acceptable progress in carrying out the reforms.
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