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Human Rights Council 56: UK Statement on Central African Republic

UK Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Central African Republic (CAR) at Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Thank you Madame Vice-President,

We welcome CAR’s positive engagement with this Council and MINUSCA, including through cooperation on reporting mechanisms and the UPR process. Its efforts to implement the new national human rights policy presents a unique opportunity for it to ensure protections for the people of CAR after decades of conflict.

The holding of inclusive local elections in 2024 and implementation of the 2019 Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation are both vital for addressing long-term violence in CAR. The new Electoral Code is a crucial step, but to deliver political rights and civic freedoms, all individuals must have the opportunity to be included in the electoral register. We call on the CAR authorities to urgently combat intensifying disinformation and hate speech, including against MINUSCA (UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) and along ethnic and religious lines.

Madame Vice-President,

The reported surge in human rights violations and abuses including conflict-related sexual violence is alarming. With the increase mainly attributable to violence between UPC and Azanikpigbe, a political approach is the only way to stabilise south-eastern CAR. Russian proxies must halt their support for groups involved in abuses against civilians, which has already proven to deepen grievances and increase CAR’s vulnerability to new crises.

Mr Agbetse,

Thank you for update and your continued efforts in pursuit of your mandate.  The Special Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for former President Bozize is an important step to demonstrate that the judicial system will hold accountable all perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity. How can we use this opportunity to further strengthen accountability in CAR?     

Thank you.

Published 9 July 2024