from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – THERE is concern over the increasing number of attacks by armed groups against the civilian population and peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.
Violations are rife south-east of the country.
This past weekend, in Bangassou, armed men presumed to be the Christian extremist anti-Balaka, used heavy weapons to attack the base of the United Nations mission MINUSCA.
They also attacked the Muslim quarter of Tokoyo where many civilians were killed and injured. The exact number of casualties is undetermined.
A MINUSCA soldier was killed during this attack and another was injured.
In Alindao and surrounding villages, unconfirmed reports suggest that in May, clashes between anti-Balaka elements and the group “Unité pour la Paix en Centrafrique” (UPC) – a faction of the Muslim radical Ex-Séléka – resulted in the death of 56 civilians.
It is reported that the anti-Balaka are responsible for the death of 19 people, including 13 from the Fulani ethnic group and an Imam.
UPC elements, in response, reportedly killed 37 civilians and more than 3,000 civilians were displaced. MINUSCA has not yet been able to verify these allegations.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemned acts of violence and human rights abuses, including the killings of international peacekeepers.
He called on the leaders of the armed groups to cooperate with MINUSCA and government authorities to bring to justice their elements implicated in human rights violations and abuses.
“I remind those who commit, order, direct or fail to prevent these attacks against civilians, humanitarian workers and UN blue helmets, that they can be prosecuted for war crimes,” the envoy mentioned.
– CAJ News