Senegal: AI says new wave of killings shatters peace in CAR

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – Amnesty International (AI) has said the new wave of violence which has left dozens of civilians dead and at least 100 injured highlighted the fragility of the reconciliation process in Central African Republic (CAR).

In a statement made available to PANA here on Tuesday, AI revealed that clashes erupted over the weekend in CAR's capital, Bangui, and continued on Monday.

The human rights group emphasized the urgent need for enhanced protection of civilians, disarmament and an end to impunity in the central African country.

“The deadly violence in the capital illustrates that CAR remains in a very fragile state and that immediate action must be taken to enhance the capacity of UN peacekeepers to detect and respond effectively to such incidents before escalation of attacks on civilians,” remarked Alioune Tine, AI's regional director for West and Central Africa.

“Small arms have been used by all sides to the conflict to attack civilians. The disarmament of all civilians and armed groups therefore needs to be speeded up to prevent all sides to the conflict using these weapons to commit further crimes under international law, including war crimes.”

The statement pointed out that fighting continued throughout Sunday and Monday in some neighborhoods of Bangui, while some people started to flee combat zones and offices of at least three NGOs have been looted.

AI recalled that last May, 10 rival armed groups signed a deal with the transitional authorities to lay down their arms and enter in a process of disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation while elections were scheduled in CAR on 18 October.

The human rights group called on combatants to end attacks on civilians and for those suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity to be brought before the courts.  

“The pattern of impunity that has existed in CAR must be broken,” said Tine. “In a country where all sides have used small arms to perpetrate crimes, disarmament is a vital part of efforts to end crimes under international law. Disarmament must be sustained and supported alongside efforts to ensure that there is justice for crimes under international law.”
-0- PANA MLJ/AR 29Sept2015

29 september 2015 18:51:52

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