IL Newswire

UN: Increasing Concern Over Violence in Central African Republic


 CAR President Touadera addressing the UN General Assembly. Photo from the United Nations.

CAR President Touadera addressing the UN General Assembly. Photo from the United Nations.

Due to the worsening conflict in the Central African Republic in recent months, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and the displacement of thousands, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein expressed extreme concern for civilians and peacekeepers in the country on 16 May. 

Although the sectarian-based clashes began in 2013, the violence had not affected the relatively more urban regions of CAR, including the capital, Bangui. According to High Commissioner Zeid, the relative peace in these areas was "hard-earned," making the current spread of violence into previously untouched areas that much more troubling. The latest spate of attacks against the UN mission in CAR (MINUSCA) also indicates a bleak future for the peacekeepers stationed there, as May of this year has already become the deadliest month to date for the mission since its founding in 2014. 

The UN Security Council has condemned the recent increase in violence, stating that attacks against peacekeepers could amount to war crimes, and called upon the CAR government to investigate the incidents. Indeed, President Faustin-Archange Touadera has warned the militias to end the violence at risk of punishment, but it remains to be seen how effective his efforts will be in ending the attacks. President Touadera had appealed to the UN on 15 March for urgently needed funding and support to help the CAR government stabilize security in the country, but the situation has not improved since then.