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Press briefing note on Central African Republic

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Cécile Pouilly
Location:  Geneva
Date: 1 April 2014
Subject:  Central African Republic

Central African Republic

We are concerned by the deterioration of the security situation in Bangui since the recent visit of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with at least 60 people killed since March 22.

A series of clashes between anti-Balaka and Muslims have taken place in various neighbourhoods of the capital in the past week. On 27 March, at least 20 people were killed and 11 injured when a grenade was thrown at a crowd of mourners during a funeral service near the PK5 neighbourhood. On 22 and 23 March, anti-Balaka elements attacked the same neighbourhood, where some 700 Muslims are believed to be stranded, in an attempt to take control of the zone. According to the Red Cross, at least 15 people were killed during the subsequent fighting and the intervention of MISCA and the French Sangaris forces.
Increased tensions and clashes between anti-Balaka elements and MISCA forces have also been reported, with anti-Balaka reportedly directly targeting MISCA military and civilian personnel on several occasions.

On 29 March, 24 people were allegedly killed and some 100 people injured, including at least one child, by Chadian soldiers on the outskirts of the PK12 neighbourhood, in the suburb of Begoua. Although we are still trying to clarify the exact circumstances of this incident, it appears that Chadian soldiers fired indiscriminately at a crowd following an incident. We are still trying to confirm the exact affiliation of these soldiers. On Monday, an anti-Balaka element reportedly threw a grenade at Chadian soldiers, before being killed by French troops.

In the light of this further deterioration of the security situation, we once again urge States to support the Secretary-General’s urgent appeal for thousands more peacekeepers and police.

ENDS

For more information or media requests, please contact Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org ) or Rupert Colville (+ 41 22 917 9767 / rcolville@ohchr.org) or Ravina Shamdasani (+41 22 917 9169 / rshamdasani@ohchr.org).

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