UN Rights Chief Warns CAR Fighting Factions - The New Indian Express

UN Rights Chief Warns CAR Fighting Factions

Published: 20th February 2014 11:25 AM

Last Updated: 20th February 2014 11:25 AM

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay has warned that authorities in the Central African Republic (CAR) will be held personally accountable for the serious human rights violations in the country.

Pillay reminded "all leaders in key positions, whether they belong to anti-Balaka, ex-Seleka or the former army, FACA, that they have clear obligations under international law", Xinhua quoted Martin Nesirky as saying here Wednesday.

They have a responsibility to refrain from committing, ordering, inciting or instigating violations of international law and to prevent subordinates from committing such violations, the UN high commissioner for human rights said.

"Most of the ongoing human rights violations are being committed by anti-Balaka elements who are deliberately targeting the Muslim population of the capital," she noted.

According to the UN, thousands of people are estimated to have been killed in CAR, and 2.2 million, or about half the population, need humanitarian aid in a conflict which erupted when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels launched attacks in December 2012. The violence has since taken on increasingly sectarian overtones.

The overall situation in capital Bangui seems "slightly calmer", said Pillay. However, the situation outside Bangui is "evolving dangerously".

After their retreat from the southern and western parts of the country, ex-Seleka forces are now regrouping in their traditional stronghold in the north, she noted, adding that given the strong feelings of resentment among ex-Seleka forces and the displaced Muslim population, the large non-Muslim community is clearly exposed to violence.

Last week, the UN allocated an additional $10 million from its emergency humanitarian fund to support the most critical relief operations in CAR.

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