UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday welcomed the establishment of a new government in the Central African Republic (CAR), saying this "offers a fresh opportunity to move the political process forward" in the war-torn country.
Ban congratulated interim President Catherine Samba-Panza and Prime Minister Andre Nzapayeke for their efforts to put the transition back on track, said a statement issued by Ban's spokesman.
The CAR installed a caretaker government on Monday in a bid to pull the turmoil-torn country out of crisis and organize general elections by February 2015.
The secretary-general, which is currently in Cuba for a regional summit, reiterated the readiness of the United Nations to support CAR transitional authorities in their efforts to ensure the security and the welfare of the people, the statement said.
Meanwhile, Ban "remains deeply concerned about the ongoing sectarian violence in the country and the humanitarian crisis that affects more than half of the population."
"He calls for determined national and international efforts to stop the violence and overcome the crisis," added the statement.
"The secretary-general reiterates the importance of ensuring the success of the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA), which is playing a critical role in providing security on the ground," the statement said.
"He appeals once again to all those in a position to do so to provide financial and in-kind assistance to MISCA and to announce their contributions at the MISCA donor conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 1 February," it added.
Also, the secretary-general appreciated the timely adoption earlier Tuesday of a new Security Council resolution on the CAR which reinforces the mandate of the UN peace-building mission in the country, BINUCA, provides for sanctions on individuals involved in violations of human rights and of the arms embargo, and authorizes the European Union's troop deployment to the country, the statement said.
"The Council's sustained engagement will be crucial to the efforts of the United Nations to restore peace and stability in the country," it said.
Ethnic tensions in the north of the CAR and the presence of the Lord's Resistance Army, an armed group known for its brutal tactics, have added to instability, which has crippled the country for decades and driven people away from their homes.
The United Nations has been supporting the CAR for more than a decade. Efforts on the ground are led by the BINUCA, a field office of the UN Department of Political Affairs.
The BINUCA operates under a mandate from the Security Council to help consolidate peace, foster national reconciliation, and strengthen democratic institutions, as well as strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights.
Plagued by decades of instability and fighting, the CAR witnessed a resurgence of violence last December when the Seleka rebels launched a series of attacks, culminating in March when then President Francois Bozize was forced to flee the city as they seized control of the capital.
A transitional government, headed by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, was entrusted with restoring law and order, and paving the way for democratic elections.
However, armed clashes in the northeast part of the country increased since August, and the CAR is facing a dire humanitarian situation affecting some 4.6 million people. On Jan. 10, then interim President Michel Djotodia resigned, and Tiangaye also stepped down.
In early December, the UN Security Council authorized the deployment of French and African troops to restore order in Bangui.