HRW: Clashes Between Rebel Seleka Groups ‘Killed’ Civilians In CAR

Serious fighting in the Central African Republic in late November 2016 between two Seleka groups left at least 14 civilians dead and 76 wounded, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.

HRW said that the armed groups appeared to have deliberately targeted five of the civilians during the main clashes in the central town of Bria between November 21 and 23, and nine others in the ensuing days.

Three other civilians remained missing and presumed dead, HRW said.

HRW said that the development highlighted the need for the United Nations peacekeepers deployed in the central African country to exercise their mandate and use force to protect civilians.

“The rising violence in the central regions between Seleka factions is having a predictably grave impact on civilians,” said Lewis Mudge, Africa researcher at HRW.

“UN peacekeepers should anticipate these incidents and use force to protect these vulnerable people, as their mandate allows.”

A humanitarian group, Doctors without Borders (MSF) last month raised concern over the what it termed “a worsening” situation in that country, despite a new government that was voted into place early this year.

President Faustin Archange was elected in February, but according to reports, he still did not have full control of the country.

Efforts to disarm Muslim and Christian militia responsible for thousands of deaths and the displacement of 10% of the population have also failed.

The country was plunged into an ethnic–religious was after a failed coup in 2013.

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