UN: UN report cites arbitrary killings, sexual violence, abuses in CAR

New York, US (PANA) - A new UN human rights report released on Wednesday says arbitrary killings, sexual violence and other human rights violations and abuses have continued to plague the Central African Republic (CAR).

A statement made available to UN reporters in New York said during the period covered, which includes the final six months of the CAR's Transitional Government, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) recorded 1,301 cases of human rights violations and abuses in the country.

It said the violations and abuses affected at least 2,473 victims throughout the country, including 1,000 men, 261 women, 91 boys and 67 girls. There were a further 808 unidentified adults and 246 victims whose age and gender could not be fully verified.

It quoted UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein in the document titled: "Report on the Human Rights Situation in the Central African Republic from 01 June 2015 – 31 March 2016", as stating: "Notorious criminals and killers must be brought to justice, no matter what group they belong to, both to halt their depredations and to provide deterrence."

The violations and abuses included arbitrary deprivation of liberty, destruction and confiscation of property, and restrictions on the right to freedom of movement.

It confirmed that the main perpetrators continued to be armed elements from the Anti-Balaka, ex-Seleka, the Front democratique du peuple centrafricain, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and Fulani affiliated with Retour reclamation et rehabilitation and the Revolution et Justice.

The report said during the period, the LRA increased its criminal activities in southeast CAR.

It disclosed that the government security and defence forces were also responsible for arbitrary killings, ill-treatment and arbitrary arrest and detention.

The report also highlighted that the protection of civilians was hampered by the very limited presence of State institutions, particularly outside of Bangui.

"This situation has had a negative impact on the fight against impunity, as those responsible for grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law have not been held accountable."

The report, which MINUSCA released during a time of marked escalation of violence by armed groups in the eastern, central and western parts of the country, made recommendations to the authorities and international community to strengthen the fight against impunity in the country.

It said since August 2016, the UN Mission in CAR has recorded an alarming increase in the number of incidents of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law perpetrated by the different factions of the ex-Seleka, the Anti-Balaka, and their affiliates, which have resulted in at least 100 killings, forced civilian displacement and the destruction of property.

The incidents have particularly affected Kaga Bandoro and Bria, the report noted.

"In addition to their violent attacks, armed groups throughout the country have continued to occupy schools, establish illegal checkpoints, and arbitrarily deprive civilians of their liberty," it noted.

The report said despite peaceful elections and a legitimate government, civilian protection continues to be hampered by limited State authority, particularly in the areas affected by the recent escalation of violence.

It also said perpetrators of grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law continue to benefit from widespread impunity.

It added that MINUSCA and members of the international community will continue to support the extension of State authority and to end impunity through the establishment of the Special Criminal Court.
-0- PANA AA/MA 15Dec2015

15 december 2016 05:37:15

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