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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. 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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid