Central African Republic must do more to protect human rights of displaced
|Publisher||UN News Service|
|Publication Date||12 February 2009|
|Cite as||UN News Service, Central African Republic must do more to protect human rights of displaced, 12 February 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/49aff7ae1e.html [accessed 23 July 2014]|
An independent United Nations human rights expert today deplored the instability facing tens of thousands of vulnerable people uprooted by violence in the north of the Central African Republic (CAR), calling on local authorities to take action to protect the displaced.
The country has been beset by widespread fighting and armed banditry in recent years, with some 200,000 Central Africans either internally displaced by the fighting or forced to live as refugees in neighbouring Chad and Cameroon.
The precarious conditions in which over 100,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) still find themselves is a result of the conflict in the north, as well as abuses committed by dangerous criminal groups who are free to act with total impunity, Walter Kaelin, the Secretary-General's Representative on the human rights of IDPs, said in a press release following a three-day visit to the country.
In mid-2008, the Government struck an agreement with the rebel groups known as the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) and the Popular Army for the Restoration of Democracy (APRD) after talks in Libreville, Gabon, facilitated by that country's President, El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba.
"Signing the peace accords and holding the inclusive political dialogue mark considerable advances in the quest for peace and stability in the Central African Republic," said Mr. Kaelin.
"These steps allow it to now vigorously put in place durable solutions for internally displaced persons."
He stressed that CAR authorities have the responsibility to take specific measures allowing the displaced to exercise their right to return, as well as their right to security, food, housing, health care, education and participation in public life.
During his stay in Bangui, the CAR capital, the Representative met with the Prime Minister, other ministers responsible for issues linked to IDPs, political/military movements, and representatives of the UN, donors and civil society.