[JURIST] A spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile; JURIST news archive] on Monday strongly condemned [press release] the violence against civilians and international forces working to aid the Central African Republic (CAR) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Reports estimate [AllAfrica report] that approximately 2.2 million citizens of CAR require humanitarian aid, with over 650,000 people internally displaced and over 290,000 seeking refuge in neighboring countries. However, international attempts to render humanitarian aid and stability by the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) [UN Security Council resolution] and French troops have been met with violent resistance [International report]. In the statement, Ban stressed the importance of determining individuals contributing to the turmoil in CAR, reiterating that all those involved in the violence, including those that assist armed groups, will be prosecuted.
International concern continues to grow in the wake of reports of gross human rights violations in CAR since the Seleka rebel forces seized the nations capital last March. Last month the UN Security Council [official website] established an International Commission of Inquiry [JURIST report] on CAR, tasked with examining reports of human rights violations, compiling information, and helping identify perpetrators. In February UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillayprompted [JURIST report] CAR leaders to remember their legal obligations and stressed that they are personally accountable for human rights violations. Also that month Amnesty International [advocacy website] urged the international community [JURIST report] to take immediate and effective action to halt the spread of sectarian violence and “ethnic cleansing” within the western part of CAR. In January the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng warned [JURIST report] that urgent national and international action is necessary to stop the violence in CAR. Also that month, the UN reported that more than 6,000 child soldiers may be involved [JURIST report] in the conflict in CAR. Earlier in January the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons urged the international community to assist individuals who have been internally displaced [JURIST report] due to the ongoing violence in CAR.