Central African Republic: UNICEF Calls for Probe Into Alleged Killings of Children in Central African Republic

Photo: HDPTCAR
Rebels in the Central African Republic.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has urged the transitional government in the Central African Republic (CAR) to immediately investigate recent allegations of killings of children amid the renewed violence in the country.

"Any allegation of children being killed should be taken very seriously and looked at thoroughly," Souleymane Diabate, UNICEF Representative in CAR, said in a news release.

"If confirmed, perpetrators must be brought to justice. Since the beginning of the crisis, the population has been desperate for protection. Impunity must end immediately in order to break the vicious cycle of violence."

A transitional government is in place and entrusted with restoring law and order and paving the way for democratic elections in the country, which is recovering from the violence that erupted last December when the Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks.

However, recent armed clashes and reports of massacres are threatening to further destabilize the nation, which is also facing a dire humanitarian situation that affects some 4.6 million people.

Since September, clashes between local self-defence groups called Anti-Balaka and ex-Séléka forces have triggered large scale displacements of up to 400,000 people, UNICEF said. These attacks have reportedly resulted in the killings of civilians, including children, in north-western CAR, especially Bossangoa, Bouar, Bohong and Yaloke.

With many displaced families still scared to return home, UNICEF teams initially set up two areas in two displacement sites in Bossangoa where up to 600 children can feel safe and protected, play, access recreational and art activities and receive counselling and support.

"UNICEF strongly condemns all acts of violence against children and calls on the transitional government to further investigate these reports and ensure that perpetrators of such acts are identified and brought to justice," the agency stated.

It also called on the transitional government and all armed forces and armed groups operating in the country to abide by international law, including Security Council resolutions aimed at ending the recruitment and use of children, the killing and maiming of children, and sexual violence against children in situations of armed conflict.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 UN News Service. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Central African Republic Rebels Attack Cameroon

Rebels in the Central African Republic.

With lawlessness sweeping the Central African Republic (CAR), the government of Cameroon now says seven people were killed when armed men from the CAR attacked military ... Read more »