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UN Security Council Renews CAR Arms Embargo, Threatens More Sanctions

  • VOA News

FILE - U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, center, listens to U.N. staff in Bangui, Central African Republic, Oct. 25, 2017. Guterres, visiting one of the most volatile towns in CAR, thanked peacekeepers for their "extraordinary courage." Fighting had surged recently in Bangassou.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday renewed an arms embargo against the Central African Republic for another year and added criteria that could lead to new sanctions.

The French-sponsored resolution passed unanimously.

Along with extending the arms embargo, it condemns using religion or ethnicity to incite violence. It says anyone who carries out such crimes will face sanctions.

"Acts of incitement are a scourge for CAR and are at the root of violence that has resulted in too many victims among civilians and blue helmets [U.N. peacekeepers]," French Ambassador Francois Delattre told the Security Council. "There will be no lasting peace in CAR if these acts of incitement continue, and the council will shoulder its responsibilities."

Violence has plagued CAR since Muslim rebels overthrew the Christian president in 2013.

Christians retaliated, leading to the deaths of thousands on both sides and sending hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees fleeing for their lives to Cameroon and Chad.