The security and human rights situation in the Central African Republic risks deteriorating again, after a series of major incidents in the capital Bangui and in rural areas, warned UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ ad Al Hussein on Monday.
“While 2016 began on a positive note, with the successful holding of elections in February, recent events in Bangui and in several other parts of the country make me fear a re-escalation of violence in the coming months,” Zeid said. “There is an urgent need to disarm the armed groups – who remain far too powerful and retain the potential to reignite the conflict – as well as to restore State authority and rule of law, and to ensure the security of all civilians.”
Tensions have been on the rise in Bangui since mid-June after clashes between armed elements and MINUSCA soldiers in Bangui’s Muslim PK5 neighbourhood resulted in the six armed men being killed and some 15 civilians injured on June 20.
Recent events in Bangui and in several other parts of the country make me fear a re-escalation of violence in the coming months
The Human Rights Commissioner further claimed that a number of incidents have taken place recently in several regions where armed groups continue to exercise control, committing serious human rights violations and preying on the civilian population.
He has urged the new government in place to improved security and accountability to the establishment of a sustainable peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic. This should also include rebuilding the justice system and restoring confidence in State institutions to prevent people from taking laws in their own hands.
“The steps taken by the authorities to establish the Special Criminal Court and the adoption of a new Constitution are promising, but I remain concerned at the large number of arbitrary arrests and detentions by security forces,” the UN human rights chief said. “More resources and political will are needed to ensure proper justice for past and current crimes and human rights violations,” he said.