News / Africa

UN Begins Inquiry Into CAR Abuses

FILE -  fighters from a Christian militia movement known as the "anti-balaka" display their makeshift weaponry in the village of Boubou, between the towns of Bossangoa and Bouca, Central African Republic.FILE - fighters from a Christian militia movement known as the "anti-balaka" display their makeshift weaponry in the village of Boubou, between the towns of Bossangoa and Bouca, Central African Republic.
x
FILE -  fighters from a Christian militia movement known as the "anti-balaka" display their makeshift weaponry in the village of Boubou, between the towns of Bossangoa and Bouca, Central African Republic.
FILE - fighters from a Christian militia movement known as the "anti-balaka" display their makeshift weaponry in the village of Boubou, between the towns of Bossangoa and Bouca, Central African Republic.
Lisa Schlein
An international commission of inquiry leaves Tuesday for the Central African Republic (CAR), to begin investigating alleged human rights violations by the Seleka and anti-Balaka militias in that conflict-ridden country.   
 
After three days in the capital, Bangui, the three-member U.N. commission will visit the interior of the Central African Republic.  During the next two weeks, the commissioners will investigate the scope and gravity of alleged rights violations.  
 
They say they will interview victims of abuse, witnesses to the commission of crimes, political and village leaders; anyone who can shed light on killings, rapes, disappearances, and other abuses against the civilian population.  
 
Commission Chairman Bernard Acho Muna is a lawyer and advocate to the Cameroon Supreme Court.  He recently returned from a visit to Bangui, and says there is a total breakdown of law and order in the country.
 
“When I was there two weeks ago, there was a definite feeling that this must stop and, therefore, the government of transition is emphasizing that we have to put an end to impunity," he said. "But, that is easier said than done...  What we can do is make sure that those who cross the red line would be accountable to the international community and would be liable to prosecutions if necessary.”
 
At the request of the U.N. Security Council, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon established the commission in January for an initial period of one year.  Its mandate is to investigate reports of human rights abuses in the Central African Republic by all parties since January 1, 2013.  
 
Commissioner Muna says the commission will explore every avenue of concern throughout the country.
 
“We have to see the camps where people are interned,” Muna said. "We have to talk to people in the villages.  We have to have a feel of the menace that they are faced.  We have to have a feel of what they went through.  In order to advise the Security Council correctly, we have to know what is going on.”   
 
In recent months, tens of thousands of Muslims have fled their homes in western CAR, fearing attacks by the largely Christian anti-Balaka group.

Muna says he views genocide as a serious possibility and the International Community must not wait until genocide has been committed before taking action.   
 
“My experience in Rwanda shows that genocide starts always with propaganda-convincing the population that this group of people are evil, they are bad, they should be eliminated,” Muna said.
 
The commission will present an interim report of its findings to the Security Council in June, followed by a final report at the end of the year.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week 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.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid