UN worried over clashes between civilians, Seleka rebels in CAR

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the fighting between Seleka rebel coalition members and civilians in Central African Republic (CAR), describing it as "worrisome".

A UN statement on Wednesday, made available to PANA in New York, said last weekend's fighting in CAR left at least 20 people dead.

Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize and appointed their own leaders in Bangui, the CAR capital city.

Bozize alleged that the rebels had help from Chadian forces.

The statement quoted Ban as saying that there were reports of rape, the use of child soldiers and other grave violations of international laws in CAR.

He stated he was "particularly concerned by reports of clashes between the Seleka movement and the population in Bangui, which resulted in the deaths of many civilians."

The Secretary-General also urged the de facto authorities to restore law and order throughout the country and to ensure the protection of civilians.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, said that the security situation in CAR is "extremely worrying" following a weekend of violence.

The Human Rights Office said in a statement that more than 20 people died in violence in CAR last weekend, noting that, "the situation on the ground is extremely worrying".

It also quoted Ms. Pillay as stating that there has been a wide-range of abuses committed since Seleka launched its offensive in December.

She, however, noted that, "those carrying out serious crimes, and especially their leaders, should bear in mind that they will be held individually and criminally responsible."

The UN said that more than 37,000 people have fled the country due to the violence since the rebel coalition launched their campaign in December.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 17April2013

17 april 2013 16:16:36




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