[JURIST] The UN published a report [text, PDF] Thursday which stated the acts committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) constituted war crimes and crimes against humanity but not genocide. The report summarized the investigation of the situation in the CAR, which began in December 2013. The purpose of the investigation was to identify and hold accountable the perpetrators of violations against humanitarian laws. The report states that holding perpetrators accountable for the violations will help bring an end to the impunity in the CAR which contributed to the cycle of violence [JURIST report] in the country. The report identifies the responsible actors as the members of the Armed Forces of the CAR under President Bozizé [BBC profile] and the principal militia groups the Séléka and the anti-balaka. While the report concludes that the crimes committed do not meet the threshold required to be considered genocide, it holds the principal actors responsible for serious humanitarian offenses including rape and the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population.
The CAR [BBC profile] has faced civil unrest for years. Violence escalated after the predominately Muslim-based Séléka rebels ousted the government of Bozize in March 2013. In September the International Criminal Court [official website] opened [JURIST report] a second investigation into CAR war crimes. In January of last year the UN Security Council [official website] unanimously adopted a resolution [JURIST report] extending the mandate of the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic [official website] and imposing travel bans and asset freezes on those suspected of war crimes in the CAR.