A new United Nations report claims a fresh wave of human rights violations in Central African Republic may amount to war crimes.
Investigators who have highlighted abuses over a 12-year period say the country is still being terrorised by armed groups and risks descending into a repeat of the sectarian violence that left thousands dead between 2013 and 2015.
Andrew Gilmour, the United Nation’s assistant secretary general for human rights, says the report stops short of identifying the alleged perpetrators unless they are already the subject of sanctions or an arrest warrant. In addition, those identities known are being kept in a confidential database
“Those who have committed these awful acts during that period, some of them are continuing to do it that’s for sure. So even if the acts they are committing now are not in this report, we are still continuing to document them. We are still watching very, very carefully what they are doing and what they are doing is being recorded,” said Gilmour.
The UN is urging both the prosecution and the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate violations that include massacres, gang rapes and entire villages being razed to the ground.
While the UN report does not characterize the worst sectarian violence as genocide, it does “identify facts which may warrant further investigation to determine whether the elements of the crime may have been met.”
The International Criminal Court is already examining abuses dating back to 2003 in Central African Republic.
Violence exploded in 2013 when mostly Muslim rebels from the Seleka coalition wreaked havoc in the capital until the group’s leader stepped down from power.
According to officials, more than 500,000 people remain internally displaced while others are in neighboring Chad, Cameroon and Congo.