27 February 2014

Central African Republic: Bernard Muna On CAR Familiarisation Visit

He is leading a UN commission investigating human rights violations in the country's conflict. The Chairperson of the International Commission For Investigating Human Rights Violations in the Central African Republic, CAR, Cameroonian-born Barrister Bernard Achu Muna, on Wednesday, February 26, 2014, began his first visit to the country since his appointment last month.

The country has been embroiled in a violent ethnic and sectarian conflict bordering on genocide since the Séléka militia coalition overthrew President François Bozizé on March 24, 2013. The coup was preceded by a short bush war that began in late 2012. According to the African Press Organisation, APO, during the visit that lasts till tomorrow March 1, 2014, Bernard Muna is to establish formal contacts with local authorities, including Transitional President, Catherine Samba-Panza. The Commission is scheduled to start work in the coming weeks, assisted by a secretariat that is due to arrive on March 4, 2014. The body was established by the UN Security Council on December 5, 2013 for an initial period of one year. Its mandate is to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law as well as human rights abuses since January 1, 2013. The Commission is to compile information, identify perpetrators of violations and abuses, point to their possible criminal responsibility and ensure that they are held accountable.

According to agency reports, Barrister Muna's visit coincides with moves at the United Nations to place eight CAR officials on a sanctions list. They include deposed President François Bozizé and some of his sons, as well as defunct Séléka and anti-Balaka militia officials. Sources say that the preliminary list, which was submitted by France, could be increased. The final list will be presented to the UN Sanctions Committee for study and possible approval by the Security Council.

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