The United Nations independent expert Yao Agbetse has accused the Central African militias of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), as well as other armed groups, of sowing a wave of terror among the country’s civilian population, also trapped by the atrocities committed by other militias trained by the authorities.
“I vehemently condemn the obstinacy of the Coalition of Patriots for Change and other armed groups that continue to sow terror, insecurity and suffering among the civilian population and the victims of violations and abuses,” said the expert after a visit from ten days to the country.
The African country has been plunged into a very serious crisis as a result of the elimination of the candidacy of former president François Bozizé, who returned to the country at the end of 2019 to once again be a candidate for the Presidency, a position he abandoned in 2014 due to the lifting of the predominantly Muslim Séléka rebels. Bozizé currently heads the CPC.
From Bria, the capital of the Haute-Kotto prefecture, the UN expert has shown his absolute dismay after discovering the facility, the population has told him, with which the armed militias can enter and leave neighboring Sudan, from completely unpunished way.
To this is added the action of other militias such as the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic or the Popular Front for the Renaissance in the Central African Republic (FPRC), constantly accused of a whole spectrum of atrocities, including violence and sexual slavery to girls between the ages of 11 and 17.
In fact, the leader of the FPRC, Mahamat Salé, has already been implicated in several cases of rape and other serious human rights abuses.
For this reason, the UN expert urges these groups “to participate in the political dialogue and the peace and reconciliation process led by the Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission (CVJRR)” of the African country.
The forces of the Central African government are not exempt from blame, recalled the expert, who gave as an example the brutal organized attack against the town of Boyo last December. The assault, perpetrated by government-trained militias, according to the UN, left at least 20 civilians dead, five women and girls raped, 547 houses destroyed and more than 1,000 displaced.
“The seriousness of these events requires appropriate responses from the national authorities towards the victims,” said the expert, who has recommended not only practically mandatory peace talks to end the violence, but also that the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission of the UN in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) establish a “more reactive” alert system and regular joint operations with the Central African Army to prevent tragedies like the one in Boyo.