(Bangui) The situation in the Central African Republic, which has been ravaged by serious unrest since 2013, is “alarming” due to attacks by rebels, government troops and their Russian allies, according to the UN, which also mentions possible “crimes”. of war ”against his soldiers.
Posted on Aug 4, 2021 at 12:33 pm
Barbara DEBOUT, with Dylan GAMBA in Libreville Agence France-Presse
Between July 2020 and June 2021, the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca) “recorded 526 cases of violations and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law across the country,” including “the fewer 1221 victims”, including 144 Civilians, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Among these violations, the UN has named “simple and extrajudicial executions, torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest and detention”. […] conflict-related sexual violence and serious violations of children’s rights ”.
Classified by the UN as the second least developed country in the world, the Central African Republic has been plunging into a bloody civil war since 2013, which has decreased in intensity since 2018 – even if large stretches of land of the central power Bangui remain. escape.
This Central African country has had a turbulent history of coups d’état and intercommunal violence since gaining independence in 1960, fueled by the many armed groups that are proliferating there.
The Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), an alliance of rebel groups formed in December 2020 to try to overthrow the regime of President Faustin Archange Touadéra and disrupt the presidential elections, “is for more than half of those recorded Incidents responsible (54). %) “.
“The CCP killed and abducted civilians, launched attacks on peacekeeping forces, and ransacked the premises of humanitarian organizations,” the report said.
For example, on March 19, in Ouaka, South, a CCP affiliated group “killed three traders after they had been handcuffed and tortured. Their bodies were found with their voting cards tied around their necks ”.
The UN urged the armed groups to stop all attacks on civilians, including sexual violence and child recruitment.
The organization also notes the responsibility of the Central African Armed Forces (Faca) and their allies, “Russian military instructors” who are “responsible for 46% of confirmed incidents”.
Possible war crimes
According to “credible evidence”, the latter had “actively participated in military operations”, in particular through “arrests”, “acts of torture” and “extrajudicial executions”.
According to the United Nations, peacekeeping forces have also been “attacked about twenty times by armed groups and Faca,” facts that are likely to constitute “war crimes”. 7 peacekeepers have been killed by armed groups since February.
The United Nations is calling on the Central African government to “take the necessary measures” so that those responsible for the abuses “must answer for their actions”.
“All parties to the conflict continue to commit atrocities,” condemned Minusca boss Mankeur Ndiaye.
“It is necessary to conduct thorough, impartial and effective investigations into all suspected violations and abuses,” added Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Contacted by AFP, the Central African government did not immediately respond to these allegations.
Moscow officially recognizes the presence of only 1,135 “unarmed instructors”, but NGOs operating on the ground, France and the UN claim that some of them are men from the private Russian security group Wagner, which Moscow denies.
Since the beginning of the year, government troops have succeeded in retaking from the rebels the towns and a good part of two-thirds of the country that they had controlled for several years, largely thanks to the reinforcement of Rwandan soldiers and the presence of hundreds of paramilitaries. Russians fighting by their side.
Rebel attacks remain frequent, however, and have intensified in recent weeks. At least six civilians were killed on Saturday in the north-west of the country near the border with Cameroon. Thirteen other civilians were killed 300 km north of Bangui in late July.