UN News Center
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
24 September 2013 – An independent United Nations human rights
expert today called for the urgent protection of civilians uprooted by
the current crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) which is marked
by a virtual lack of security, massive displacement and a dire
“I urge the Transitional Government of the Central African Republic to
do its utmost to ensure the protection of IDPs and to facilitate the
humanitarian response,” said Chaloka Beyani, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
“The situation of all those displaced, who hide in remote areas,
including in the bush, in poor sanitary conditions and without access to
basic services or clean services is extremely worrying.”
The CAR – which has been marked by decades of instability and fighting –
witnessed a resumption of violence last December when the Séléka rebel
coalition launched a series of attacks. A peace agreement was reached in
January, but the rebels again seized the capital, Bangui, in March,
forcing President François Bozizé to flee.
The recent fighting has further eroded even the most basic services in
the country and exacerbated an already dire humanitarian situation
affecting the entire population of 4.6 million people, half of whom are
children. Currently, 1.6 million people are in dire need of assistance,
including food, protection, health care, water, sanitation and shelter.
Mr. Beyani noted in a news release that more than four months after the
rebels seized power, there is virtually no security in the country,
which is seeing widespread human rights violations and abuses, including
attacks on the population, massive internal displacement, rape and
As of early September, more than 260,000 people were internally
displaced in CAR, including more than 100,000 children. Most displaced
children are not able to attend lessons as schools have been destroyed,
closed or occupied by armed groups. Displaced children are also reported
to be particularly vulnerable to forced recruitment by armed groups.
The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is set to hold an
interactive dialogue on the situation of CAR tomorrow, while a
ministerial-level meeting on the humanitarian situation in the country,
co-chaired by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie
Amos, will be held in New York.
“I call on the HRC to address the situation of internally displaced
people in the country and to make concrete recommendations to that
effect,” said Mr. Beyani, who reports to the Council in an independent
and unpaid capacity.