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U.N.: Chadian Soldiers Killed 30 People in CAR

The United Nations' human rights office says at least 30 people were killed and 300 seriously injured when Chadian soldiers fired indiscriminately into a crowded market in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights' office released findings of its investigation on Friday, a day after Chad said it will pull its troops from the African-led peacekeeping force in the C.A.R.

Spokesman Rupert Colville says investigators spoke to survivors of the March 29 incident at two Bangui hospitals.

The witnesses said a convoy of Chadian soldiers entered the market in the PK12 area and fired on the crowd without any provocation. The investigators say children, pregnant women and elderly people were among those shot.

Colville says some people told investigators the soldiers may have entered the market to "extract" Chadians and other Muslims from Bangui, in order to protect them from attacks by mostly Christian anti-balaka militants.

There was no immediate comment from the Chadian government.



On Thursday, Chad said it is was pulling its forces out of MISCA, the African Union peacekeeping mission responsible for protecting civilians and disarming militias.

In a statement, Chad's minister of foreign affairs, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said his country's troops had become the object of a "malicious" campaign to hold them responsible for all the suffering in the C.A.R.

Chad had about 850 troops in the MISCA mission. The French News Agency reports that C.A.R. Foreign Minister Toussaint Kongo-Doudou expressed "regret" over Chad's decision to withdraw.

Some C.A.R. residents have accused Chadian soldiers of siding with the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels who overthrew the president last year and then went on a national rampage.

In recent months, tens of thousands of C.A.R. Muslims have fled their homes and communities to escape attacks by the anti-balaka militias.

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