UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday discussed with General Antoine Gambi, the visiting foreign minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), the upcoming elections for January in the nation, while voicing concern over the humanitarian situation in the northeastern part of the country.
"The secretary-general welcomed the consensual electoral calendar now in place, and pledged UN support toward the successful conduct of the January 2011 elections," said a readout from the UN Spokesperson's Office released here.
Previously, the election date there had been a bone of contention with opposition and armed groups arguing that the conditions were not yet favorable for holding free and fair elections.
Ban also welcomed the progress of the disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion (DDR) process in the northwest, but "expressed concern" over the humanitarian situation and DDR delays in the northeast.
"They also discussed the withdrawal of the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) and the recommendations put forward by the secretary-general to the Security Council with respect to a regional formula for follow-on arrangements," said the UN readout.
On Tuesday, Youssef Mahmoud, head of MINURCAT, told the UN Security Council here that the UN Mission in the CAR and Chad ( MINURCAT) has initiated plans for its full withdrawal from both countries by the end of this year.
As of July, the Mission has reduced its military forces to 2, 174, including 1,878 troops in Chad and 296 in the CAR.
The need for a solution to fill the security void in the northeastern CAR after MINURCAT's departure remains "urgent," Mahmoud told the Security Council.