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Last updateLun, 26 Jan 2015 9am


Washington: Sanctions loom over CAR crisis

The US is considering targeted sanctions against those who are behind the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), which has been wracked by internecine violence since last year, when a rebel coalition toppled the government of Francois Bozize. A US State Department statement issued here expressed deeply concern at the renewed inter-religious violence in the central African nation.

'The United States is prepared to consider targeted sanctions against those who further destabilize the situation, or pursue their own selfish ends by abetting or encouraging the violence.

'We will continue to work tirelessly with our international partners to hold accountable all those responsible for atrocities committed in CAR,' the statement said.

The US condemned attacks by both anti-Balaka (anti-machete) and Seleka groups in the CAR capital, Bangui, and the provinces, saying it is deeply disturbed by reports that some CAR leaders may be supporting attacks by anti-Balaka and Seleka, respectively, instead of working for peace and reconciliation.

'Preventing the violence from gaining further momentum and costing more lives will require all of CAR’s leaders, past and present, to be clear in condemning it. We urge CAR’s past and present political leaders – including senior officials in the previous Bozize and Djotodia administrations such as Francois Bozize and Noureddine Adam – to call on their supporters to cease any and all attacks on civilians,' the US said.

It said last week's selection of a transitional government offers the people of CAR an opportunity to rebuild their society and restore their tradition of tolerance.

PANA reports that fresh fighting has broken out between Seleka rebels and local militias in the CAR, since the swearing in of Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza,

The renewed fighting, which started when Seleka rebels attacked the base of the mostly Christian anti-balaka, has forced thousands to flee villages around the town of Bouca, some 290km north of Bangui.

CAR, with 4.6 million people, slipped into chaos following the overthrown of Bozize by the largely Muslim rebels last year.

Pana 28/01/2014