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#Central African Republic (CAR)

#Central African Republic (CAR)

Armed confrontations continue to affect Central African Republic and security remains one of the major concerns for HRDs. A Peace Agreement was signed between the government and 14 armed groups in Khartoum on 6 February 2019, which led to the formation of a new government with several members of armed groups appointed to senior positions, including rebel leaders against whom there is credible evidence of responsibility for atrocities. However, armed groups still control significant swaths of territory, committing serious human rights abuses, including the razing of entire villages, gang rapes of women and girls, extra-judicial killings and severe torture. A general atmosphere of fear and insecurity continues to prevail for HRDs as, like the civilian population, they are extremely affected by the conflict and targeted by all parties.

The government denies most requests to conduct peaceful protests submitted by civil society groups, invoking the security context and the risk of the presence of armed groups. The spokesperson of Groupe de Travail de la Société Civile (Civil Society Work Group – GTSC) was arrested in April 2019 for allegedly threatening state security when calling for a protest against the appointment of representatives of armed groups in the government. In May 2019, when the platform of civil society and opposition political parties “E Zingo Bian” peacefully marched despite their requests being denied several times, police fired tear gas at the demonstrators, several of whom were severely injured.

HRDs and journalists who denounce human rights violations by the armed groups, including looting of property, torture, forced recruitment of child soldiers, rape and murder, have faced death threats, intimidation, torture, rape and killings. When denouncing human rights violations by government soldiers, they face arbitrary arrests, judicial harassment and slander. Self-censorship is widespread while media offices and radio stations are the target of raids by armed groups. Many human rights organisations have had their offices ransacked by the armed rebels who wished to destroy any evidence of the human rights violations committed by their members. The operating environment for humanitarian workers remains challenging with frequent attacks and thefts.

The establishment of the Special Criminal Court on 3 June 2015 brought a lot of hope to the victims for justice and accountability in Central African Republic, but over five years later, this hybrid court has great difficulty in being operational given the political and sensitive nature of some of the cases.