from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – THE United States’ imposition of sanctions against a rebel leader in the Central African Republic (CAR) is a major step towards quelling the insurgency in the latter.
The US government of President Joe Biden this past weekend slapped Ali Darassa with the restrictive measures.
He is the leader of the rebel Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC).
The 56-year-old, of Nigerian descent, is designated under the Executive Order 13667, in connection with alleged serious human rights abuses.
“The UPC uses killings, kidnapping, and other violence to achieve its goals,” said Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State.
Among other violations, in November 2018, UPC members attacked an internally displaced persons camp in Alindao, resulting in the deaths of a number of individuals.
In another incident, in March 2020, four people were reportedly detained and tortured in Mboki under the orders of the UPC.
Blinken noted Darassa’s decision to abandon the country’s 2019 Peace Agreement further threatens the peace and stability of the Central African country and has resulted in additional human rights abuses as well as exacerbated human suffering.
“We urge UPC and all parties to the conflict to heed President Touadera’s October 15 ceasefire declaration, immediately halt combat operations, and begin the dialogue for peaceful political solutions,” Blinken implored.
CAR has faced cycles of rebel violence since the 2013 ouster of François Bozize.
As of the middle of 2021, more than 2,8 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in the country of 4,9 million people.
Over 717 000 people had been internally displaced in the landlocked country.
– CAJ News