CAR on the edge of an all-out sectarian conflictListen /
Urgent measures need to be taken to defuse the spiralling sectarian and inter communal violence in the Central African Republic according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Navi Pillay says the lack of a legitimate state authority and the absolute impunity for human rights violations are issues of grave concern.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council which is holding a special session on the situation in the Central African Republic, Ms Pillay said strong and concerted efforts by the international community, local political, religious and community leaders were needed to stop the country from tipping over into an all-out sectarian conflict.
She said UN investigators have documented the death of over 1,000 people in the capital Bangui on the 5 and 6th of December last year adding that the death toll was on the increase due to continued retaliatory attacks by militia groups.
“The mission documented a range of other serious human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary arrests and detention, widespread looting and property destruction, as well as instances of burning of churches and mosques. Cases of sexual violence and other abuses, including rape and sexual slavery, by both sides, but mostly by ex-Séléka, were also documented. Reports of the recruitment and use of children by both the ex-Séléka and anti-Balaka are perturbing: I urge the international community to increase its support to the Central African Republic for prompt restoration of security and State authority throughout the country, the promotion of the rule of law, and the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights.”
The Council is demanding an end to the violence and a restoration of the rule of law in the Central African Republic.
It is due to appoint an independent expert to investigate the human rights situation in the country.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.