Central African Republic: A Country Overwhelmed by Terror More Each Day

The UN Security Council must immediately support international troops

During the last month, fighting between members of the former Seleka and vigilante groups called "Anti-Balaka" has killed at least 170 people. FIDH wishes to draw the attention of the international community to these clashes that are becoming more inter-communal and thus placing the civilian population at the center of the fighting and in a state of ever-worsening insecurity.

In its latest investigative report on the situation in the Central African Republic, FIDH denounced the murders, sexual crimes, kidnapping, looting, and destruction of property—which qualify as war crimes—committed with impunity by members of the former Seleka rebel group which has controlled the entire country since the coup d’État on the 24th of March 2013.

The lack of law enforcement in the country, as well as the inability of the troops in the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (AFISM-CAR) to protect the population, has forced villagers to form self-defense militia groups. Recurring conflicts between these militias and the former Seleka are deadly and are characterized by sectarian clashes; ex-Seleka troops, led by warlords from northern Central African Republic, Sudan, and Chad, are arming the Muslim population to confront the Anti-Balaka groups.

During the first half of September, in and around Bossangoa, clashes between former Seleka members and the militias have led to more than 100 deaths and the burning of several villages.

On October 3rd, more than two dozen civilians were killed by ex-Seleka members in Bangui-Bouchia in the region of Lobaye, less than 100 km south of Bangui.

On October 4th, according to the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office for the Central African Republic (BINUCA), clashes erupted in the town of Bossangoa in the village of Korom (Bossembélé axis), resulting in many civilian casualties.

Also in early October, at least fourteen people were killed in clashes between Christians and Muslims armed by the former Seleka in Bangassou, in the eastern part of the country.

On the 7th and 8th of October 2013, in Garga, in the locality of Yaloké, 200 km northwest of Bangui, Anti-Balaka militias killed three members of the former Seleka. In retaliation, the elements of the former Seleka are said to have distributed weapons to the Muslim population and killed more than thirty villagers and injured dozens of others.

"Since July we have called for a strong response from the international community to strengthen international troops in the CAR and avoid the chaos associated with lawlessness. The UN must now immediately support efforts by the African Union, or risk a certain increase in the massacres of civilians,” said Eric Plouvier head of the FIDH mission to the CAR.

FIDH calls on the United Nations Security Council, which is set to meet tomorrow regarding the situation in the Central African Republic, to adopt a resolution condemning the gross violations of human rights, calling for effective disarmament of ex-Seleka elements and militias, and implementing sanctions against the perpetrators of the most serious crimes. To ensure the safety of the civilian population, the UN Security Council must also provide strong support for international troops in CAR, including by consideringthe transformation of AFISM-CAR into a UN Peacekeeping Mission. The UN Security Council must also strengthen the mandate and the capacity of this mission and of BINUCA to place human rights at the heart of the international community’s response in CAR, and support national and international justice mechanisms in the fight against the impunity for human rights violations.

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