Central African Republic: Withdrawal of French forces highlights urgent need for stronger peacekeeping force to protect civilians
“The announced withdrawal of French Sangaris forces from CAR later this year further increases the urgency for the UN Security Council to ensure that the MINUSCA peacekeeping force is much better equipped to protect civilians and promote justice,” said Stephen Cockburn, Deputy Regional Director for Amnesty International in West and Central Africa.
“Yesterday’s inauguration of CAR’s new President Faustin-Archange Touadéra offers an opportunity to rebuild and stabilize the country, including to bring those suspected of having committed serious human rights violations to justice. But to do so CAR needs the international community to boost its support, including by ensuring the peacekeeping force is well-equipped to prevent and contain large-scale violence.”
In relation to news of further allegations of sexual abuse by international forces in CAR, Stephen Cockburn added: “There must be no room for impunity for human rights violations, not least regarding serious allegations of sexual abuse. The investigations launched by the United Nations are welcome but if there is sufficient evidence they must lead to any perpetrators being prosecuted in criminal courts in order to ensure justice for victims and deter further abuse.”
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