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UN rights office finds violations in Central African Republic

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] released findings [press release] on Tuesday that a wave of human rights violations took place in the Central African Republic (CAR) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] last month. According to the UN report, there has been a recent spike in extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, mutilations, enforced disappearances and other rights abuses in CAR. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that the situation in CAR remains "extremely volatile" despite recent reconciliation efforts and warned the CAR's government to respect human rights in responding to the situation. Pillay plans to provide a fuller account of the UN's findings during a special session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva later this month.

There has been growing international concern over gross human rights violations in CAR since the Seleka rebel forces seized the nations capital [BBC backgrounder] in March of 2013. Earlier this month, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons urged [JURIST report] the international community to assist the approximately 1 million individuals who have been internally displaced by the ongoing violence in CAR. In December, UNICEF [official website] issued a report [JURIST report] detailing horrific attacks against children in CAR. Also in December, the UN Security Council [official website] voted unanimously [JURIST report] to authorize the deployment of peacekeepers to CAR. In November, Navi Pillay warned [JURIST report] that the continued violence between militias, rebels and government forces in CAR threatened to lead the country into renewed conflict. UN Sectetary General Ban Ki-moon condemned [JURIST report] the coup by the Seleka rebels last March and advocated for a "swift restoration of constitutional order."

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