UN: Transition in CAR needs international community’s support - UN expert

New York, US (PANA) - The international community must redouble efforts to help the
Central African Republic (CAR) to fully realize its transition to peace, national reconciliation,
reconstruction and the end of impunity, a UN expert on the human rights situation in
CAR, Ms. Marie-Therese Keita said on Friday.

"Central African Republic has demonstrated its commitment in favour of peace,
national reconciliation and justice in adopting the Republican Pact at the end of Bangui
Forum, which defines a consensual road map for the country," Ms. Keita said in a
statement issued in New York.

She called on all parties to pursue their efforts to implement the Pact and fulfill
people’s expectations.

Back from a seven-day visit to the country earlier this month, she praised the Central
Africans for the important steps taken in favour of peace, national reconciliation and
to fight against impunity, noting that, "an electoral calendar has been set, but there are
many challenges."

The UN expert said: "With the support of UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization
Mission in Central African Republic (MINUSCA), national authorities were able
to launch an important signal regarding the fight against impunity during the arrests
of three prominent leaders of rebel groups late 2014 and early 2015.

"However, those responsible for the most egregious violations of human rights
must be apprehended rapidly for the fight against impunity to be effective and to
avoid negative impact on the socio-political climate, as it was the case in the past,"
Ms. Keita stressed.

The expert also emphasized that the provision of identity cards and registration
of displaced persons and refugees during the census, as well as their participation
in the elections will be significant challenges, but essential to the legitimacy of the

Despite recent agreements on the cessation of hostilities and a disarmament,
demobilization and reintegration programme, Ms. Keita expressed concern at
ongoing acts of violence perpetrated by armed elements against civilians.

She deplored the detention of too many people, who are held without charge,
while many others are awaiting trial far beyond the deadline, with no access
to adequate health care.

She urged the authorities to arrest individuals responsible for acts of
torture and cruelty against people accused of witchcraft, often vulnerable
women, saying: "During my last visit, I had already warned the authorities
about these unacceptable practices, contrary to national and international

Warning against the insufficient presence of the State outside the capital,
Bangui, the expert went on to say that in the city of Bria, for example, there
is still no judicial authority and only one police commissioner supported by
four policemen.

Ms. Keita stressed the importance of taking all necessary measures to
protect children against violence and abuse, especially those who are
vulnerable, citing the displacement camp of Mpoko, as a case.

"When violations are reported, the responsible authorities must protect
victims from further harm, prosecute the alleged perpetrators and provide
reparations," she added.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  26June2015

26 june 2015 19:27:38

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