UNITED NATIONS, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Wednesday voiced its "strong concern at the deterioration of the security situation" in the Central African Republic (CAR), as a coalition of rebel groups in the country declared the end of a ceasefire with the government.
This came after the 15-nation Council was briefed behind closed doors by Margaret Vogt, the special representative of the UN secretary-general, on the situation in the CAR.
"The members of the Security Council expressed strong concern at the deterioration of the security situation in the CAR," said a statement read out to the press here by Vitaly Churkin, the Russian UN ambassador who holds the rotating Council presidency for March.
"They condemned the attacks conducted recently by rebels from the 'Seleka' coalition, in particular in Bangassou and the surrounding region, and the threat of a resumption of hostilities, " noted the statement.
"The members of the Security Council also condemned the threats by militias and related movements against civilians and called upon all actors, including the media, to refrain from inciting violence," it added.
Col. Sylvain Bordas, a spokesman for the coalition known as Seleka, said in Bangui, the CAR on Monday that the rebel groups " will not hesitate to take up arms again" if their conditions were not met within 72 hours.
The Seleka signed a peace agreement with the government in January in Libreville for a one-year political transition before new elections can be held.
The Council members "reiterated their call to the government, the 'Seleka' coalition, armed groups and the democratic opposition to abide in good faith by their commitments pursuant to these agreements, and called on ECCAS (the Economic Community of Central African States) to strongly support the follow-up committees called for by the Libreville agreements in order to ensure the full implementation of the agreements, and help to restore national peace and security," the statement said.
"The members of the Security Council expressed strong concern at the humanitarian situation, including the risk of a food crisis, and called on all parties to immediately cease all acts of violence and abuses committed against civilians, including children," it said.
"They called on all parties to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and to safeguard humanitarian installations, material and vehicles to ensure safe delivery of humanitarian assistance and to ensure the protection of civilians against violence," it added.