Rights group urges end to rights violations in CAR

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A human rights organization has called for an end to the crimes against civilians committed by the militia groups in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) said in a recent report that war crimes and crimes against humanity are being perpetrated with impunity in the impoverished African country.

The report claimed that the Christian vigilantes known as anti-Balakas have been systematically attacking civilians, Muslims in particular. More than twenty enclaves containing between 15,000 and 20,000 Muslims are currently under siege by the anti-Balaka militias, it added.

The rights body said the anti-Balakas “have benefited from the strategic withdrawal of the Seleka to the north and the east of the country, where they (anti-Balakas) continue to perpetrate serious human-rights violations and international crimes.”

The FIDH also reported atrocities being committed by the Selekas, saying, “Seleka and anti-Balaka forces mirror one another in the horror of the acts that they have perpetrated in the context of a conflict that has become so vile that more people are killed than injured.”

The report urged the international community to protect civilians and bring the criminals to justice.

CAR descended into chaos last December, when Christian armed groups launched coordinated attacks against the Seleka group, which had toppled the government in March 2013.

On December 5, France invaded its former colony after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution giving the African Union and France the go-ahead to send troops to the country.

In March, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said almost all of more than 100,000 Muslims once residing in the capital, Bangui, had fled the violence perpetrated by Christian militiamen.

 

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