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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid