A United Nations commission of inquiry has determined that Christian militia have carried out ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the Central African Republic, but that there is no proof of genocidal intent in the ongoing civil war.
The three-member commission issued its conclusions in a final, 127-page report released Thursday. The commission also said the anti-balaka Christian militia and Muslim Seleka rebels have both committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the C.A.R. conflict.
Since the March 2013 coup that dislodged Francois Bozize, the longtime leader, the C.A.R. has been wracked by violence, with murder, rape, torture and recruitment of child soldiers, the report said, according to the AFP news agency.
The commission could not determine a death toll. But it said that estimates of 3,000 to 6,000 people killed "fail to capture the full magnitude of the killing that occurred."
The report said the continuing "hostile and violent atmosphere" prevented commission members from visiting the country’s center, so it reflects information gleaned in the capital, Bangui, and western C.A.R., the Associated Press reported.
The commission credited U.N. peacekeepers and French and African troops as "primarily responsible for the prevention of an even greater explosion of violence," AFP reported.
The U.N. has ranked the C.A.R. conflict as one of the four concurrent top-level humanitarian crises in the world.
The commission, led by Cameroonian judge Bernard Acho Munu, was created to investigate human rights violations in the C.A.R. out of concern the conflict could easily turn into a genocidal killing spree. Its two other members are Mauritanian human rights officer Fatima M’Baye and Mexico’s former foreign minister, Jorge Castaneda.
The Associated Press and AFP contributed to this report.