Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned increasing attacks on religious groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) warning that these attacks have the potential to further escalate the crisis in the country.
In a statement, his spokesperson said Mr. Ban is “very concerned” about the prevailing situation in the country which he described as “volatile, unpredictable and lawless.”
“He is particularly worried about the increasing number of targeted attacks and retaliations against Muslims and Christians, including the most recent incidents on the Bossangoa-Bossembele axis,” the spokesperson said referring to the northwest part of the country.
The CAR – which has been marked by decades of instability and fighting – witnessed a resumption of violence last December when the Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks. A peace agreement was reached in January, but the rebels again seized the capital, Bangui, in March, forcing President François Bozizé to flee.
In today's statement, Mr. Ban called on all parties, including ex-Séléka combatants and new self-defense groups, to refrain from acts of violence against civilian populations, and to respect human rights.
He also reminded national authorities of their responsibility to bring to justice perpetrators of these massacres and protect all Central Africans from abuses.