Central African Republic: UN expert calls for action to end impunity.

GENEVA (24 August 2023) - A UN expert has expressed grave concern about the human rights situation in the Central African Republic.

'Given the tensions and divisions arising from the constitutional referendum, the Central African authorities urgently need to engage all actors in a genuine political dialogue aimed at de-escalating the situation and creating a climate of trust,' said Yao Agbetse, the UN Independent Expert on the Central African Republic, at the end of a 10-day visit to the country.

'Only an inclusive political dialogue can provide a framework to (re)build consensus. The military approach has shown its limits and there is an urgent need for a coherent and predictable political offer,' Agbetse said.

He stressed that a calmer political climate was essential for the immediate rescheduling of local elections, which had been postponed indefinitely. 'The Government must do everything in its power to create the conditions for an inclusive, transparent, fair and democratic election, with the effective participation of women and young people,' the UN expert said.

He urged the authorities to relaunch the process of implementing the Khartoum Agreement (APPR-RCA) and the Luanda Joint Roadmap and to commit to the 217 recommendations of the Republican Dialogue by taking concrete political measures to encourage the other actors in the conflict to honour their commitments.

'Sub-regional diplomacy is essential for the Central African authorities to address issues of border security, particularly with Sudan,' Agbetse added.

Increasing attacks by armed groups, particularly the Coalition des Patriotes pour le Changement (CPC) and the rise of the Azande Ani Kpi Gbe group in the South-East, are creating a climate of insecurity, he said. The expert said that direct attacks by armed groups, including attacks on villages, mining sites, fields and on roads, have an impact on the country's economic activity and lead to serious human rights violations. 'Insecurity is a major obstacle to the restoration of State authority,' he said, noting that it also increases dependence on humanitarian aid.

In the Vakaga region, 17,820 refugees and asylum seekers, mostly women and children, have reportedly flocked to Am-Dafock, then settled in Korsi near Birao, 65 km from the border, for security reasons due to the conflict in Sudan. Among them are 4,701 Central African returnees from Sudan. Tensions in Chad have also reportedly pushed 37,000 Chadian refugees and...

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