CAR: Urgent need for UN peacekeepers

752 deaths in Bangui and more than one thousand across the country have been identified in the last month in the Central African Republic (CAR). FIDH is gravely concerned by the chaos that prevails despite the reinforcement of troops from the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) and from the intervention of the French armed forces mandated by the UN Security Council Resolution of 5 December 2013.

Since the attack led by the Anti-Balaka against elements of the Seleka on 5 December 2013 in Bangui, intercommunal violence in the capital has resulted in 752 deaths and more than 300 injured. Throughout the country there have been more than a thousand deaths and hundreds injured, raped, and their houses set on fire, resulting in one million displaced persons in the CAR to date.

The result of these recent attacks is especially horrendous since it comes on the heels of the many crimes - murders, kidnappings, rape, looting - committed by elements of the Seleka since the coup of 24 March 2013. The civilian population is totally unsafe. The worst is feared if the international community doesn’t react accordingly, declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

This situation requires the urgent deployment of additional international troops into the CAR, and FIDH is thus calling on the African Union to reinforce the MISCA. Moreover, since its investigation into the situation in the CAR, FIDH insists on the importance of the rapid establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation in the CAR. Only such a mission can deploy the human, logistical and budgetary resources required to guarantee the safety of the civilian population in Bangui as well as throughout the CAR.

The establishment of a UN peacekeeping mission would, in addition to providing security for the population, respond to the crisis through a holistic approach including necessary support to the transitional institutions and the protection of human rights, particularly the fight against impunity for the most serious crimes, declared Paul Nsapu, FIDH Secretary General.

FIDH urges the Economic Community of the Central African States, who will be holding an extraordinary summit on 9 January 2014 in N’Djamena, and on the African Union, which will be hosting its Summit from 21 to 31 January 2014, to call for MISCA to transform into a UN peacekeeping mission as soon as possible. FIDH calls on the members of the Security Council to review as quickly as possible the Secretary General’s report with recommendations for this possible UN mission in order to ensure its deployment as soon as possible. FIDH is also calling on the international community to come to the aid of the CAR and to mobilise massively during the meeting of donors scheduled to take place on 1 February 2014 in Addis Ababa, particularly since the call for contributions made by the UN to fund humanitarian needs in the CAR has not received sufficient response in order to deal with the current and growing crisis.

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