The United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide has strongly condemned provocation of ethnic and religious hatred armed groups and politicians in the Central African Republic and impressed the need for urgent, concerted and coordinated steps to end violence, defuse intercommunity tensions and alleviate the suffering of the civilian population.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the manipulation and incitement to ethnic and religious hatred instigated by armed groups and militias and accomplice politicians, with the aim of establishing territorial control, mobilizing combatants or extending their predatory instincts to private property and the country’s economic resources,” said Special Adviser Adama Dieng, in a statement (originally in French).
“All victims made it clear to me that their wish was to live together in peace and harmony with all the people of the Central African Republic.”
The Special Adviser’s visited the country from 6 to 11 October amid reports of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, including sexual violence, for allegedly belonging to certain ethnic, religious and/or armed groups as well as the manipulation of religion, ethnic sensibilities and community origins from the south-east to the north-west of the country.
During the visit, Mr. Dieng met with authorities, including the country’s President, and raised concerns he observed regarding the seriousness and scope of the criminal atrocities committed with impunity by armed groups.
The President, according to the Special Adviser, underscored his determination to continue the dialogue with the armed groups, in order to ensure that they put down their weapons.
Further, Mr. Dieng urged everyone to condemn the unacceptable manipulations that seek to divide the society, and called on the Government and all parties commit to dialogue, but without sacrificing the need to strengthen the rule of law, to restore good governance and to combat impunity.
“Any individual responsible for criminal atrocities or incitement to commit such atrocities will sooner or later have to assume criminal responsibility for their acts and face national or international justice,” he stressed.
In the statement, Mr. Dieng also condemned attacks against the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (known by its French acronym, MINUSCA) and humanitarian personnel.