Threat of Civil War in CAR in Wake of Latest Outbreak of ViolenceOctober 1, 2015 in Central Africa Republic
On Wednesday, a UN expert warned that the country could descent into “civil war” if the latest upsurge in violence is not brought under control.
Speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Marie-Therese Keita Boucoum disclosed that she fears “…that if this violence is not rapidly contained, targeted attacks based on ethnicity and religion inevitably risk increasing and leading to a real civil war,” adding that “disarming armed group s must be an absolute priority” ahead of presidential and general elections, which are due by the end of the year. Boucoum, who is the UN’s independent expert on the former French colony, called on the Central African government to “present a realistic and concrete plan” for disarmament and for reforming the security services. Meanwhile Bangui’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Leopold Ismael, also addressed the Human Rights Council, and called on the international community to “take concrete action,” charging that it showed an apparent “willingness to keep CAR in the abyss.” He further stated that those behind the violence “are known and are not hiding.” He urged French soldiers and UN peacekeepers already in the country to “oppose and stop these repeated outbursts of violence and killings.”
The latest wave of sectarian violence was sparked with the murder of a Muslim motor-taxi driver in Bangui on Saturday. Clashes over the past several days have left nearly forty people dead, with the UN reporting that almost 30,000 people have fled their homes. Presidential elections were due to be held in mid-October however it remains uncertain whether officials will proceed with the polls.