News / Africa

CAR Rebels Accused of Major Rights Violations

Michel Djotodia, the rebel leader who declared himself president is pictured in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 28, 2013.
Michel Djotodia, the rebel leader who declared himself president is pictured in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 28, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
Human Rights Watch accuses rebels in the Central African Republic of committing serious rights violations before and after this year's coup in the turmoil-torn nation.

Summary executions, rape, torture and pillaging: Human Rights Watch says it has found compelling evidence of horrific rights violations committed by the Seleka rebel coalition in Bangui and elsewhere in the Central African Republic in recent months.

Released on Friday, HRW's accusations follow a 10-day investigation last month in CAR - a nation that some describe as "the wound in the heart of Central Africa."

HRW's Paris office chief Jean-Marie Fardeau says rights violations were also committed under ousted CAR leader Francois Bozize.
 
"That's why there is a need for an official investigation for all crimes committed in Central Africa since 2002, when Bozize took power," said Fardeau.

Diplomats at the CAR's embassy in Paris were not available to respond early Friday afternoon.  But HRW says it interviewed a number of Bangui authorities, including new President Michel Djotodia, who blame the abuses either on former members of the Bozize government or on so-called "fake" Seleka members.

Earlier this month, the country's interim government opened a probe into alleged rights violations committed under Bozize, who was toppled by Seleka rebels in March.

HRW says its report is based on the accounts of dozens of eyewitnesses, victims, human rights activists and authorities from both the CAR's previous and current governments.  Among other findings, it says rebels forces indiscriminately shot dead civilians, including a mother cradling a child. They also allegedly raped a number of women and girls.

HRW's Fardeau says it is important that the international community put pressure on Bangui to allow for a thorough and transparent investigation into the alleged crimes.

"Central Africa is highly dependent on the international community for security, for its development. It's a country which needs to cooperate with the international community to survive," he said. "So we do believe it's in the interest of the authorities to cooperate with the international authorities - with the UN and the ICC."

The Hague-based International Criminal Court says it is closely scrutinizing rights abuses committed after the rebel coup in Bangui.  ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says she will not hesitate to prosecute those responsible for civilian suffering.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva is also looking into reports of widespread rights violations in the CAR.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More