7 March 2017

Central African Republic: CAR Rebels Face Prosecution for War Crimes

Kinshasa — REBEL groups unleashing violence againstpeacekeepers, aid workers or civilians could be tried for war crimes, the United Nations mission in the disorderly Central African Republic (CAR) warned. The UN Integrated Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in CAR (MINUSCA) warned leaders of the Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (FPRC) they would be held individually responsible if such acts continued. "Any attack targeting the civilian population, UN and humanitarian personnel is a war crime that can be prosecuted in accordance with Central African law and international law," a MINUSCA spokesperson underscored. The mission called on the FPRC and all armed groups to refrain from any interference with the work of humanitarian workers, as well as threats against international humanitarian organizations and civilian populations. "No armed group has the right to prohibit or impede free access of humanitarian actors to vulnerable populations, even in areas where these groups continue to have a negative influence." The UN raised concern as 40 FPRC militants laid siege on Bambari, declared a "weapons-free zone" by MINUSCA. "These men have approached Bambari with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers, posing a risk of the city burning to disastrous consequences for the civilian populations." Crisis has torn the Central African since 2012 when rebels opened a military campaign against the government of Francois Bozizé.

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