19 October 2017

Central African Republic: Muslim Rivals Have Killed Dozens in Car

Photo: Edouard Dropsy pour/Human Rights Watch
A man checks his burnt farm (file photo).

Kinshasa — RIVAL Muslim armed groups have killed over 130 civilians, including children, at the peak of their infighting in the Central African Republic (CAR). The clashes have been widespread since November 2016 when fighting broke out between the ex-Seleka grouping-Popular Front for the Renaissance of CAR (FPRC) and Unit for Peace in CAR (UPC) - in the northeastern Bria. The attacks against civilians, United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian actors subsequently spread to other parts of the region. In December 2016, the town of Bakala, 60 km north-west of Bambari, changed hands several times between the FPRC and UPC and was the scene of massacres of civilians. The UN has reported the armed groups killed at least 133 civilians or other protected people, including 82 men, 16 women, ten children and 25 persons of unknown sex and age. Some 111 of the verified killings are attributed to UPC and 22 to the FPRC coalition. Documented violations and abuses include killings, injuries, abductions,rapes, denial of medical care and humanitarian relief, destruction of property and restrictions to the freedom of movement. The Seleka overthrew the CAR government in 2013. The remaining groups after the rebel movement's dissolution are thus known as ex-Selekas. In its recommendation urged the government of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra hold perpetrators accountable. It urged the armed groups to cease violations and abuses of international human rights law.

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