CAR urged to take steps against impunity

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Displaced people shelter on the grounds of a church in Bossangoa. Photo: UNHCR/B. Heger

Authorities in the Central African Republic (CAR) are being urged to take "effective action" to prevent impunity for grave human rights violations committed during a month of sectarian clashes in 2015.

The appeal is being made by the UN mission in the country, MINUSCA, which is set to publish a report documenting abuses that took place in the capital, Bangui, in September and October last year.

The violence was sparked by the killing of a Muslim taxi driver, resulting in reprisal attacks involving Christians, Muslims and others.

Dianne Penn reports.

The report finds that at least 41 civilians were killed while at least 17 others were injured during the weeks of violence in the capital city.

UN investigators also document rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as kidnapping and unlawful detention.

The period was further marked by widespread looting and burning of houses and property.

While the majority of violations and abuses were committed by Christian and Muslim militias and their affiliates, the report says the armed forces were also involved.

The report's recommendations include ending impunity and prosecuting those responsible for past and present serious human rights violations.

It also calls for reform of the armed forces.

The Central African Republic (CAR) is gearing up for legislative and presidential elections this weekend.

MINUSCA chief Parfait Onanga-Anyanga is calling on all sides to support the electoral process and to reject all forms of violence.

He says peaceful and legitimate elections will mark "a major step" towards reconciliation, justice and sustainable peace in the CAR.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'13"

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