RCA: 3 peacekeepers killed in precarious security situation |

Another peacekeeper remains in critical condition, the Secretary-General’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a press release issued Tuesday evening.

“The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the fallen peacekeepers and to the government and people of Bangladesh. He wishes the injured a speedy recovery,” he added.

The UN chief reminded that attacks on UN peacekeeping forces can constitute a war crime under international law. He called on the Central African authorities “to spare no effort to identify the perpetrators of this attack so that they are quickly brought to justice”.

“The Secretary-General calls on the Central African authorities to lift the restriction on night flights, which has a negative impact on the safety and security of peacekeepers who take significant risks on a daily basis to support the national authorities,” his spokesman added. “The Secretary-General reaffirms UN solidarity with the people and government of the Central African Republic”.

An uncertain security situation

In Geneva on Wednesday, an independent UN expert noted that despite efforts to restore peace and progress in some parts of the country, some provinces remain in a precarious security situation.

Despite the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire by the President of the Republic on October 15, 2021, the security situation is characterized by a resurgence of attacks by armed groups.

“Since April, we have witnessed a resurgence of attacks by armed groups targeting the positions of the Central African Armed Forces and committing violations against the civilian population,” said Yao Agbetse, the UN’s independent expert on the human rights situation. man in CAR.

For the Human Rights Council, the Togolese expert pointed to the presence of elements of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) in Sam-Ouandja (Haute-Kotto prefecture), in the northeastern part of the country. According to corroborating testimony gathered from local authorities and several residents of the region, the CPC is mobile on the axis leading to Sudan.

Several localities emptied of their inhabitants

In the northwest, in the sub-prefecture of Ngaoundaye, the group Retour, Réclamation et Réhabilitation (3 R) targeted the positions of the Central African Armed Forces and committed abuses against the civilian population. “Uncertainty is an obstacle to the effective exercise of multiple rights,” the expert said.

Due to this insecurity, several localities have been emptied of their inhabitants, who have sought refuge in the forest. In localities where there is still access to education, the number of students who have passed the 1st cycle this year has fallen significantly compared to years without violence.

This uncertainty has also resulted in abuses and violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. From 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, MINUSCA documented more than 1,200 incidents of abuse affecting a total of 3,200 victims, including more than 760 children.

Summary and extrajudicial executions

This represents an increase of more than 20% in the number of incidents and an 80% increase in the number of victims compared to the previous period. A total of 566 incidents affecting 1,425 victims can be attributed to state actors.

The remaining 633 incidents affecting 1,722 victims are attributable to armed groups. According to the independent UN expert, the armed groups members of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) are the main perpetrators.

The most important violations are violations of the right to life (657 victims, including 50 women, ten girls and 44 boys), especially summary or extrajudicial executions (480 victims, including 31 women, seven girls and 33 boys). There are also cases of cruel and degrading treatment as well as gunshot and stab wounds in connection with military operations and attacks by armed groups.

Attack on the village of Boyo in December 2021

Referring to the brutal and organized attack on the village of Boyo in December 2021, the expert indicated that the human rights violations committed by the Central African National Army (FACA) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF) and their auxiliaries were “unacceptable”. Russian allies and FACA are said to have given their support and backing to the “Anti-Balaka” militia which committed atrocities in Boyo.

These include beheadings and sexual violence. This violence forced thousands of residents to flee. “The seriousness of these facts requires appropriate responses from the national authorities to the victims,” ​​said the UN independent expert.

These brutalities led to large population movements. According to a September 2022 report by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the number of displaced persons in Central African territory was 655,000, and the number of Central African refugees was 740,000. During this year, more than 60% of the Central African population (3.1 million people) are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Peacekeepers from MINUSCA, the UN mission in the Central African Republic, patrol the capital Bangui.

Dissemination of hate speech and incitement to violence

Regarding hate speech and incitement to violence, the spread of hate messages, incitement to violence and the use of manipulation, disinformation and misinformation in the media and social networks are sources of serious concern. These recurring threats and expressions of rejection poison the relationship between the Central African authorities, opposition parties and civil society organisations.

According to the expert, such a situation undermines the actors’ trust and hinders the reconciliation process and the march towards peace. “These threats pose a dangerous threat to the next local elections”, the independent expert insisted, calling on “the technical and financial partners who engage in manipulation and disinformation on social networks to immediately stop this practice”.

In addition to the prosecution of the perpetrators of hate speech, the expert believes that the political response is also necessary to put an end to these “behaviors contrary to the search for lasting peace”. He thus welcomed the announcement of 22. September 2022 from the Minister of Territorial Administration, which suspended the activities of the association called “Platform of the Central African National Galaxy (PGNC)”, which has distinguished itself by messages of hate and threats on social networks.

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