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UN Calls For Sanctions On Central African Republic Rights Abusers

Channels Television  
Updated May 16, 2013

The UN envoy to the Central African Republic urged the Security Council on Wednesday to consider imposing sanctions on rebels accused of severe rights violations including rape, maiming, recruitment of child soldiers and forced marriages.

Margaret Vogt also told the council that a neutral security force should be deployed to “contain the current state of anarchy” in the mineral-rich state, where the Seleka rebels seized power on March 24, toppling President Francois Bozize.

“The abuses and violations committed by Seleka combatants and other armed elements … are a source of grave concern for the protection of civilians,” she said. “The time is ripe for the council to consider the imposition of individual sanctions against the architects and perpetrators of gross violations.”

Rebel leader Michel Djotodia, a former civil servant, has been named interim president by the parliament and charged with leading the chronically unstable country to elections within 18 months.

Vogt said security had disintegrated and that the Central African Republic “has collapsed into a state of anarchy and total disregard for international law, as elements of Seleka turn their vengeance against the population.”

“Indiscriminate and often targeted killings, rampant rapes and assault on the innocent population, flagrant recruitment of children as soldiers, looting of homes, not just of the rich but even of already struggling citizens,” she said.
She added the country appeared to have become a safe haven for different foreign rebel forces seeking to exploit natural resources like diamonds and gold and that the conflict now posed a direct threat to the security of its neighbors.