Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has warned that criminal acts committed by armed groups against innocent civilians belonging to Muslim community as well as against Chadian nationals in Central African Republic (CAR) “will only contribute to the worsening of community and religious divisions in the country”.
Expressing deep concern about the violence perpetrated in the CAR capital, Bangui, and other places in the strife-torn country, Dlamini Zuma said that such acts would undermine stabilisation efforts undertaken by CAR authorities with the support of leaders in the region, Africa and the rest the international community.
In a statement, released Thursday by the Peace and Security Council of the AU, the Chairperson also noted “with deep concern the new phenomenon of deliberate attacks by elements of the anti-Balaka militias against uniformed personnel of the African-led International Support Mission in CAR (MISCA).”
On 6 February, 2014, three Rwandan soldiers and a Cameroonian policeman of Formed Police Unit (UPC), deployed in the MISCA north of Bangui, were injured, some very seriously, while they assured the protection of Chadian nationals who were being repatriated to their country.
Dlamini Zuma underlined the commitment of the AU to ensure that the perpetrators and sponsors of these acts are held accountable for their actions.
She reaffirmed the AU stance to ensure the effective implementation of the mandate of MISCA, including the protection of civilians and other activities essential for the stabilisation of CAR, and securing the corridor which links the country to Cameroon.
In this context, and in coordination with the CAR authorities, following the meeting of the Special Representative of the AU, Gen. Jean-Marie Michel Mokoko, with the CAR Prime Minister, André Nzapayeke, on 9 February, 2014, the Chairperson said that “MISCA will take all appropriate measures, including the use of force against all militias and other armed elements which continue to commit abuses and maintain a climate of insecurity and hatred in the country and against all those who attack its staff.”
The Chairperson reiterated the request made by the PSC on 29 January 2014, to all concerned CAR stakeholders to urge their supporters to put to an immediate end attacks against civilians and any other action likely to undermine efforts for peace and reconciliation in their country.
She emphasised that the Commission would seek to finalise as soon as possible, a list of persons against whom targeted sanctions will be imposed in accordance with relevant decisions of the PSC.
On this, Dlamini Zuma said that the AU remained committed to cooperate fully with the United Nations in the implementation of sanctions adopted by the Security Council against individuals and entities that undermine peace efforts, as well as the fulfillment of the mandate of the International Commission of Inquiry of the UN responsible for shedding light on the violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law in the CAR since 1 January 2013.