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UN urges Central African Republic to address rights violations

[JURIST] The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) [official website] on Wednesday called [press release] for the Central African Republic (CAR) to address numerous human rights violations stemming from an outbreak of violence in Bangui last year. Last fall an eruption of violence in the capital city of Bangui resulted in at least 47 civilian deaths, at least a dozen rapes and the displacement of 42,000 people. MINUSCA head Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, stated Wednesday, "the perpetrators of grave violations of human rights will enjoy impunity, and the Central African authorities must take effective action to ensure that those responsible for the crisis are brought to justice." The UN also has found evidence that the issues in Bangui has triggered more widespread violence in other CAR cities such as Bambari, Kaga-Bandoro and Bouar. MINUSCA plans to release a report further illustrating the numerous human rights violations at the end of the month.

Violence has persisted in the CAR since the predominately Muslim-based Seleka rebels ousted former president François Bozize [BBC profile] in March 2013. More than 400,000 people remain displaced due to the violent overthrow, with over a half million more people seeking refuge in other countries. In November UNICEF [official website] called for [press release] aid to approximately 1.2 million children distressed by conflict [JURIST report] in the CAR. In January of last year members of a UN investigatory commission reported that crimes against humanity have been widely committed by all parties to the conflict in the CAR, prompting the commission to call for the establishment of an international court [JURIST report] to objectively investigate and prosecute crimes. Earlier that month the UN published a report stating that violent acts committed in the CAR constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity [JURIST report], but not genocide. Despite this finding, members of the international community maintain that there is much work to be done [JURIST op-ed] in the nation. In 2014 the International Criminal Court [official website] opened a second investigation [JURIST report] into CAR war crimes.

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