World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Central African Republic: UN peacekeeping mission needed

Amnesty International
Press Release
2 December 2013
Central African Republic: UN peacekeeping mission needed to avoid mass slaughter

The UN Security Council has no time to waste to authorise a robust peacekeeping force for deployment to the Central African Republic to protect civilians from the violence and chaos engulfing the country, Amnesty International said today.

This week, the Security Council is expected to give French and African Union troops on the ground an initial mandate to rein in the security forces and armed groups responsible for spiralling human rights violations and abuses. But a full-fledged UN peacekeeping operation may be necessary to overcome the current crisis.


“The consequences of this life-and-death decision will affect an entire country. If the Security Council does not act now to stem the horrific cycle of violence in the Central African Republic, that failure will hang heavily on the international community for years to come,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“The Security Council must request that the UN Secretary-General immediately start preparations for the deployment of a robust peacekeeping force, with a mandate to protect civilians, including internally displaced persons (IDPs). Troops on the ground must have the resources necessary to stop the ongoing abuses and rein in armed groups and forces that have already spun out of control over the past year."

The call comes as France has already begun sending between 800 and 1,000 additional troops to bolster a contingent of some 2,600 African Union (AU) forces on the ground. The country has largely descended into lawlessness since the Seleka coalition of armed groups ousted President François Bozizé and took power in March.
An Amnesty International report released on 29 October documented severe human rights violations and abuses in the country. Tens of thousands have been internally displaced, with hundreds of unlawful killings, extrajudicial executions, rape and other forms of violence against women and girls widely committed with total impunity by members of the security forces and armed groups alike. An Amnesty International delegation to neighbouring Chad earlier this month interviewed people who have fled Central African Republic to refugee camps across the border.

The Security Council should act now to assist the AU forces in the Republic – as well as reinforcements from France or other countries – to protect civilians, including IDPs and refugees, under a UN mandate and ensure that they have the resources to do so effectively and in full compliance with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.


It is expected that discussions around the structure and mandate of any UN peacekeeping mission in the Republic will continue in the coming weeks and months.

“The people of the Central African Republic cannot wait another day. They are staring into the abyss, with mass slaughter of civilians a real danger. The UN Security Council must act now to ensure that AU and French troops on the ground can start functioning as an effective peacekeeping force, with more reinforcements to follow as needed,” said Shetty.
In particular, Amnesty International urges the Security Council to: • Request that the UN Secretary-General immediately start preparations for the deployment of a robust peacekeeping force to the Central African Republic to protect civilians, including IDPs and refugees, and stop the downward spiral into a human catastrophe of epic proportions.

Take transitional measures to stem the violence . The international community should support a proposal by the UN Secretary-General to draw in troops from UN peacekeeping missions in neighbouring countries until the full UN peacekeeping mission can be deployed in the Central African Republic.

Ensure the peacekeeping mission as well as any transitional mechanisms have a strong human rights mandate to protect civilians from crimes under international law and to protect IDPs and refugees. The force should have strong capacity and expertise with respect to sexual and gender-based violence and women’s human rights. It should be proactive in protecting civilians and have rules of engagement that reflect this mandate.


The Security Council is also expected to seek an international arms embargo on the Central African Republic. There is a substantial risk that any further arms supplied to the country would be used to commit or facilitate more human rights abuses. Such arms transfers would violate essential provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty, which can already be applied by the 115 states that have signed the treaty.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news