- Title: Central African Republic abuses may be crimes against humanity -U.N.
- Date: 30th May 2017
- Summary: BAMBARI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (MAY 29, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANDREW GILMOUR UNITED NATIONS UNDER SECRETARY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS SAYING: "It covers a period that goes up until 2015, but those who are, as you pointed out, those who have committed these awful acts during that period, some of them are continuing to do it that's for sure. So even if the acts they are committing now are not in this report, we are still continuing to document them. We are still watching very, very carefully what they are doing and what they are doing is being recorded." EXTERIOR BAMBARI HOSPITAL WOUNDED PEOPLE SITTING OUTSIDE, MANY FROM RECENT ATTACK IN ALINDAO WOUNDED PEOPLE SITTING ON BENCH WITH FEET BANDAGED WOUNDED GIRL FROM ALINDAO LYING IN BED WOUNDED BABY IN BED CRYING WOUNDED CHILD PUTTING ON T-SHIRT (SOUNDBITE) (Sango) ALINDAO RESIDENT, GERMAINE YASSORO, SAYING: "The rebels arrived on Tuesday around nine o'clock. They spread across the village and burned houses and then started shooting everywhere. When we tried to run away they started shooting at us and I got a bullet in the left arm and my child in the chest." UNITED NATIONS CAMP IN BAMBARI HOUSING DISPLACED PEOPLE FROM ALINDAO DISPLACED PEOPLE SITTING OUTSIDE HUT DISPLACED WOMEN AND CHILDREN SITTING ON THE GROUND DISPLACED CHILDREN (SOUNDBITE) (Sango) DISPLACED ALINDAO RESIDENT, CHARLOTTE LAMBASSADACHA SAYING: "We are suffering because our homes were burned down and our goods ransacked. That's why we ran away into the bush from Alindao all the way to Bambari. As we fled, our brothers and sisters were killed, and thrown into wells. We don't know how to feed or house our children and need help." VARIOUS OF DISPLACED PEOPLE
- Embargoed: 13th June 2017 11:29
- Keywords: Central African Republic United Nations war crimes atrocities
- Location: BANGUI, BAMBARI, BOSSANGOA AND UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
- City: BANGUI, BAMBARI, BOSSANGOA AND UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
- Country: Central African Republic
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0076J15I6F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
A litany of killing, rape, mutilation, pillage and torture committed by successive governments and armed groups in Central African Republic from 2003-15 may constitute crimes against humanity, the United Nations said in a report on Tuesday (May 30).
The 369-page mapping report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, based on more than 1,200 confidential and open sources, is meant to help authorities identify cases as they establish a Special Criminal Court to try the worst crimes committed in the landlocked, isolated nation.
The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights (OHCHR), Andrew Gilmour, said in Bambari on Monday (May 29) that the point of the report was to examine crimes committed by numerous armed groups such as mass rapes, mass killings, torture, decapitations and to show that justice will come to the country and its victims.
The report said that perpetrators have enjoyed near total impunity throughout the period in question due to persistent insecurity and a feeble justice system, which has fuelled cycles of abuse.
Repeated political crises in CAR have fuelled conflict since 2003.
After seizing power from President Ange-Felix Patasse in a March 2003 coup d'etat, forces loyal to Francois Bozize killed and tortured civilians in order to settle personal scores and pillaged U.N. and other diplomatic facilities, the report said.
A decade later, Christian anti-Balaka militia again killed unarmed civilians, conducted public lynchings and mutilated victims in so-called "cleansing operations" against Muslims in retaliation for similar abuses by mostly Muslim rebels, it said.
Tit for tat violence is on the rise again despite a successful presidential election last year. In the past two weeks alone, fighting between militia groups has killed around 300 people and displaced 100,000, the worst bout of displacements since 2013.
In Bambari hospital doctors said over the last 10 days they had received wounded from attacks to people in Alindao.
Violence spread across the towns of Banguassou, Bria and Alindao in the first two weeks of May killing at least 300 people in a new escalation of the conflict. More than 100,000 people had to flee the towns, the worst displacement since 2013.
The report called on the Special Criminal Court, agreed to in 2015, to maximise the use of foreign judicial personnel given the dearth of expertise in CAR and to collaborate closely with the International Criminal Court, which has been investigating alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity since 2012.
The report also recommended that a truth commission accurately document past violence, allow victims to tell their stories and reveal underlying causes of conflict.
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