Human rights office warns of deteriorating cycle of violent attacks in CAR

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Internally displaced persons in the Central African Republic [Photo: OCHA/Laura Fultang]

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is warning that a deteriorating cycle of violent attacks and reprisals in the Central African Republic risks plunging the country into a new conflict.

Human rights office Spokesperson Rupert Colville noted that two weeks ago, self-defence militias, known as anti-Balaka, attacked and occupied a town called Bouar, some 300 miles north-west of the capital Bangui, which is quite close to the border with Cameroon.

” This led to clashes with ex-Séléka forces, and resulted in the death of at least 20 civilians in and around Bouar. One teacher was repeatedly run over, deliberately by ex-Séléka forces because of his perceived support of the anti-Balaka militias. At least 10,000 people have been displaced as a result of the fighting in and around this one town.”

Human Rights Office Spokesperson Rupert Colville described the latest clashes between ex-Séléka forces and various self-defence groups, as extremely worrying. He said such violent incidents have heightened tensions among communities, caused splits along religious and sectarian lines and could lead to further destabilization in the country.

At the same time, the High Commissioner for Human Rights noted that for decades, diverse ethnic and religious communities have lived together in CAR, warning that the current escalation of violence and hatred must be halted before it spins completely out of control.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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