from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – THE arrest of a commander of one of the notorious rebel groups is a major step in the fight against impunity in the Central African Republic (CAR).
United Nations’ Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) has arrested General Hussein Damboucha in Sam Ouandja, 320 km north of Bria, in the northeastern Hautte-Kotto, the biggest prefecture in the country.
He is regional commander of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC) and member of the Coalition of Patriots for Change, the latter which was formed to disrupt the 2020-21 general election.
The Central African Internal Security Forces and the MINUSCA Force and Police carried out the operation that has culminated in Damboucha’s arrest.
His name appears in the reports of the Group of Experts on the CAR as the perpetrator of violations and abuses of human rights.
At the time of publication, the detainee was in custody with authorized Central African institutions, after his transfer from Sam Ouandja to the capital Bangui, with the support of MINUSCA.
MINUSCA has pledged to provide technical assistance to the CAR authorities for the identification of those responsible for the human rights violations during the civil war.
“MINUSCA will continue to support the Central African judicial institutions in the fight against impunity, an essential condition for the consolidation of peace and national reconciliation,” MINUSCA stated.
The third civil war in CAR broke out exactly ten years ago.
In March 2013, rebel groups in the north of the country united in a coalition, forming the mostly Muslim Seleka, and took power after ousting then president, Francois Bozize.
Looting and atrocities committed by Seleka soon led to deadly reprisals by the mainly Christian Anti-balaka militias, self-defence committees made up of villagers and former soldiers.
MINUSCA and French troops were deployed to restore order in the impoverished country of 5 million people.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) noted that driven out to the periphery and weakened, the armed groups are nevertheless still capable of inflicting harm, and are regularly accused of atrocities.
– CAJ News