A spate of armed robberies and extrajudicial killings, including those of army soldiers and a senior magistrate, has shaken Bangui, capital of the conflict-torn Central African Republic (CAR), for more than week, the United Nations reported today, calling on the transitional Government to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Plagued by decades of instability and fighting, the CAR witnessed a resumption of violence last December when the Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks, culminating in March when President François Bozizé was forced to flee.
A transitional Government, headed by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, has been entrusted with restoring law and order and paving the way for democratic elections. But armed clashes in the north-east have increased since August, and the country is facing a dire humanitarian situation that affects some 4.6 million people.
In a press release today, the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in CAR (BINUCA) called on the transitional authorities “to pursue and speed up the restoration of the capacities of the police and the gendarmerie and to exclusively entrust to them the mission of maintaining law and order in Bangui.
“BINUCA recalls that the security of persons and belongings are first and foremost the responsibility of the transitional Government. Therefore, it urges the national authorities to shed light,” it added.
The office noted that among those killed was Modeste Martineau Bria, a senior magistrate assassinated on Saturday night.
Earlier this month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that the deteriorating violence in CAR could spin out of control, further destabilizing the country, calling the clashes between ex-Séléka forces and various self-defence groups “extremely worrying.”