A new report by the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights paints a shocking picture of violations in the Central African Republic, including killings, kidnappings, torture, and rape. The report details events since the onset of violence in the capital, Bangui and the northern town of Bossangoa on December 5 and 6, 2013.
U.N. fact-finders who visited the CAR in late 2013 confirmed large-scale killings of Christian and Muslim civilians carried out in Bangui and Bossangoa, with an estimated 1,000 people in killed in Bangui alone on December 5 and 6 .
The violence began when Christian militias, known as the anti-balaka, launched planned attacks in Bangui against Muslim forces that were formerly part of the Seleka rebel coalition. The attacks prompted retaliations from both sides, descending into sectarian violence between Muslim and Christian civilians in the capital and elsewhere throughout the country.
“Since the end of that first phase of intense fighting on 5-6 December,” U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said, “sporadic clashes continued, resulting in multiple incidents of tit-for-tat Muslim and Christian civilian killings, particularly in Bangui, but also in other parts of the country, such as Ouham and Nana-Mambere Prefectures,” he said.
In addition to the killings and retaliatory attacks, the U.N. mission received multiple accounts of sexual violence, torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention.
Source: Lisa Schlein, “Central African Republic: UN Reports Grave Human Rights Violations,” AllAfrica.com, January 14, 2014, http://allafrica.com/stories/201401150023.html.
Student Researcher: Natalie Rich (Florida Atlantic University)
Faculty Evaluator: James F. Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)