Rights activist denounces acts of violence

Bangui- Central African Republic (PANA) -- The Central African Republic authorities are about to lose the support of human rights activists which they won after crashing former ruler Andre Kolingba's aborted coup three weeks ago.
This was the view of Nicolas Tiangaye, the president of the Central African Republic's Human Rights League during an interview.
"If they are not careful, people will forget the coup and focus only on crimes against humanity," Tiangaye told PANA.
He was referring to the "acts of violence and summary executions" which, according to him, were still going on in Bangui against suspected supporters of Kolingba.
Tiangaye said that he has forwarded to the International Human Rights Federation (IHRF) a list of several people who were hiding because they feared for their lives.
Most of them are magistrates belonging to Kolingba's ethnic group, the Yakoma.
Jose Christian Londoumon, president of the civil and commercial division of the court of cessation, and Mr Kayague, president of the minor offence appeal court, are among the those who have fled.
In addition, the officials have had their homes looted and sacked by what is believed to be the country's security agents.
Limbo Eloa, adviser at the court of cessation, is also among the threatened magistrates now hiding.
According to Tiangaye, acts of revenge continue to be reported in the residential areas of Bangui despite official declarations to the contrary.
He said that 106 people, including Kolingba's wife and four of his sons, had found refuge in the French Embassy in Bangui.
The president of the Central African Democratic Rally (RDC) parliamentary group, Mahious Gamba, is in hiding at the United States Embassy.
The RDC is Kolingba's party.
Tiangaye said that pressure was needed to bear on the government of President Ange Felix Patasse to help put a stop to the acts of violence.
He added that at the moment it was impossible to give precise figures regarding the outcome of the events, which are officially said to have left about 60 people dead.
He revealed that his organisation was about to open an investigation in each zone in order to draw up a list of casualties.
He also referred to the suspension by the government of the RDC.
He condemned the measure, saying it was "premature" to take such an action.
"The RDC did not hold a congress to decide to stage a coup d'etat.
What happened was an individual act.
The RDC should have been given a chance to give its views on the issue and maybe it would have condemned the coup d'etat," said Tiangaye.
Asked about the reasons for the chronic instability in the CAR, the human rights activist attributed it to "the country's mismanagement and bad governance.
" "How come that a country with three million inhabitants and arable land filled with all forms of resources, cannot pay a wage bill of two billion CFA francs" to its 15,000 civil servants.
He said that at the end of June, the CAR will have owed 28 months' salary arrears to its workers.
Tiangaye, moreover, reiterated his organisation's condemnation of any attempts to take over power by force.
He denounced "the military-clanic dictatorship" which Kolingba wanted to set up in the CAR, adding that the former ruler should answer his actions in a court of law.

22 june 2001 16:20:00




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