16 March 2018

Central African Republic: State Agents Fingered in Grave CAR Violations

Bangui — STATE agents and rebel groups have perpetrated at least 55 human rights violations in the Central African Republic (CAR) over the past week. Twenty-eight violations have been blamed on armed rebel groups while 27 are attributed to government agents.

The violations including murder, rape and kidnappings have been prevalent in the south-east of the country, particularly in Bangassou and Rafai.

Hervé Verhoosel, spokesperson of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) condemned the renewed armed violence.

He particularly bemoaned attacks against peacekeepers.

"Tackling humanitarian workers who come to help a population in need is unacceptable," Verhoosel said.

"These armed groups and those who direct or advise them including from Bangui (the capital city), will be unmasked."

Some 12 suspects have been arrested in Bangassou.

"Those who support criminal acts know that they are contributing to a grave breach under international humanitarian law and can be apprehended and repressed," Cherifou Gassama, MINUSCA Deputy Director of the Human Rights, said.

The Central African country of 5 million people is beset by anarchy by rival Christian extremists and radical Muslim elements.

The crisis peaked in 2013 when Muslim rebels overthrew François Bozizé Yangouvonda as president.

His successor, Michel Am-Nondokro Djotodia, resigned in 2014 after rising violence.

More than 1 million civilian are affected by the civil war.

Central African Republic

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