News / Africa

HRW Urges UN to Sanction CAR's Seleka Leaders

FILE - Fighters of the Seleka rebel coalition stand in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.
FILE - Fighters of the Seleka rebel coalition stand in front of the presidential palace in Bangui, Central African Republic, March 25, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
— Human Rights Watch is calling on the U.N. Security Council to sanction leaders of the Central African Republic’s Seleka coalition. The group seized power in March and killed and raped civilians, burned villages and looted property as it took control of the country’s provinces.

HRW says the Central African Republic has become a forgotten crisis. With the launch Wednesday of its new report on the situation there, the New York-based group urges the international community to urgently address the situation.

The group conducted field research from April to June, documenting cases of human rights abuses and identifying patterns of violence committed by Seleka. HRW also obtained satellite imagery confirming the destruction of villages.

Lewis Mudge is the report’s author. He made several trips to the country, where he found hundreds of homes destroyed by Seleka and heard witness accounts of abuses.

“In this case, the Seleka actually made my job quite easy," he said. "When I met with Seleka leaders outside of the capital, they were quite honest and open with me about how they had burned villages and how they had targeted civilians. They looked me in the eye and they said to my face, ‘Yes, this was us.’”

Mudge said this highlights the impunity with which Seleka operates. He noted they do not have the support of the population, which lives in fear of them.

While the report focuses on abuses committed by Seleka, it does recount some severe violations of detainees by security agents working for former president François Bozizé. The president was overthrown by Seleka in March.

The report makes numerous recommendations, including that the CAR government stop tolerating attacks on civilians, investigate abuses and start holding perpetrators accountable.

Mudge said the Security Council also must act, before the country descends into complete chaos.

“Currently the Seleka leaders are operating under the assumption there is no threat because nobody is paying attention. But we do feel the Security Council could do something about this," he said. "They could put certain Seleka leaders who are found to be committing human rights abuses on the sanctions list. It will send a strong message to the Seleka that the world is starting to pay attention and that the world is watching.”

United Nations humanitarian and human rights officials have been warning about the CAR’s instability for months. They say that while security in the capital, Bangui, has improved, in the rest of the country the state is almost non-existent. The humanitarian crisis is growing and insecurity threatens to spread beyond the country’s borders.

African countries have sent more than 1,000 peacekeepers to the Central African Republic to protect civilians. That number is expected to grow to more than 3,500 under African Union auspices.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid