CAR: Violence Erupt ahead of Elections

BANGUI SEPTEMBER 29, 2015 (CISA) –Dozens of Civilians have been killed in the ongoing violence following the killing of a Muslim taxi driver in the Capital of Central African Republic, Bangui.

The new wave of violence that erupted over the weekend has left at least l00 people injured, reported Reuters.

“The deadly violence in the capital illustrates that CAR remains in a very fragile state and that immediate action must be taken to enhance the capacity of UN peacekeepers to detect and respond effectively to such incidents before escalation of attacks on civilians,” said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International regional director for West and Central Africa.

“Small arms have been used by all sides to the conflict to attack civilians. The disarmament of all civilians and armed groups therefore needs to be speeded up to prevent all sides to the conflict using these weapons to commit further crimes under international law, including war crimes,” Alione Tine added.

Since September 26, sporadic gunfire and looting have been increasingly reported in Bangui forcing at least 5000 people to flee for their safety.

The government has reported that the violence is aimed at derailing the presidential elections scheduled to take place next month.

Amnesty International has called on combatants to end attacks on civilians and for those suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity to be brought before the courts.
“The pattern of impunity that has existed in CAR must be broken,” said Tine.

“In a country where all sides have used small arms to perpetrate crimes under international law, disarmament is a vital part of efforts to end crimes under international law. Disarmament must be sustained and supported alongside efforts to ensure that there is justice for crimes under international law,” observed Alione Tine.

More than 500 inmates escaped from a prison on September 28 in Bangui.  Among those who escaped   Nagaraba Central Prison, were at least 60 high level convicts, including fighters from both Muslim and Christian militant groups. The escape was confirmed by witnesses and the head clerk at Bangui’s court.

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