CAR: UN, international organisations condemn attacks on civilians in parts of CAR

Bangui, CAR (PANA) - Voicing deep concern over the security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), in particular in the Ouaka and Hautte-Kotto prefectures five organisations have condemned the acts of violence by armed groups that have exasperated an already alarming humanitarian situation.

According to a joint statement, they said violence perpetrated by the Front populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique and its allies, as well as Mouvement pour l'Unité et la Paix en Centrafrique caused heavy civilian casualties as well as significant population displacement, adding to the humanitarian woes in the region.

The organisations are the United Nations, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the African Union (AU), the Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF) and the European Union (EU).

Demanding that the belligerents cease hostilities immediately, the organisations emphasised that “all attacks against the civilian population, UN and humanitarian personnel may be subject to judicial prosecution, in line with the [national] legislation and international law”.

They also expressed their deep appreciation for “robust action” undertaken by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR, popularly known by its French acronym – MINUSCA – to protect civilians and help put an end to violence in the areas threatened by the belligerents and encouraged the mission to continue its efforts.

The organisations also welcomed the measures put in place for the operationalisation of the Special Criminal Court and underlined that only dialogue, in strict adherence with the constitutional and democratic order, would allow the concerned Central African actors to find the appropriate and sustainable responses to their legitimate grievances.

“In this regard, they reiterate the importance of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation led by the AU, ECCAS and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and supported by Angola, the Republic of Congo and Chad,” noted the joint statement.

In addition, expressing their commitment to work together for the success of the Initiative, in support of the efforts of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra aimed at sustainably promoting reconciliation and inclusive governance in line with the conclusions of the Bangui Forum, the five partner organisations underscored that those armed groups that engage in new violent acts run the risk of excluding themselves from the African Initiative and expose themselves to additional international sanctions.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Séléka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013. Despite significant progress and successful elections, CAR has remained in the grip of instability and sporadic unrest.
-0- PANA MA 20Feb2017

20 february 2017 11:08:01

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