New UN Reports Point To War Crimes In Central African Republic

The reports show a growing pattern of sexual violence in Mbomou and Haute-Kotto prefectures, where women and children continue to be at extreme risk when rebels attack.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on Monday, Aug. 1, 2022, published two reports indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed in the Central African Republic.

The first report concerns an attack on a village by a pro-government militia group, while the second report sheds light on how some armed groups committed sexual violence in parts of the country.

The two reports are based on investigations by the Division for Human Rights of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

The first report noted how a militia group composed of combatants who were members of the Anti-Balaka movement carried out an attack on Boyo village in the Ouaka prefecture between Dec. 6 and 13, 2021. The report concludes that at least 20 civilians were killed, five women and girls raped, some 547 houses looted and razed, and over a thousand villagers were forced to flee from their homes.

The second report is based on the observations of four investigative missions in the prefectures of Mbomou and Haute-Kotto. It details sexual violence cases committed between Dec. 2020 and March 2022 by members of the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC) and the Unite pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC), all of which parties are affiliated with the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) rebellion.

The CPC has succeeded in taking control of several regions of the country, including Mbomou and Haute-Kotto prefectures.

“Cases of sexual violence documented by MINUSCA in the prefectures of Mbomou and Haute-Kotto confirm that the FPRC and UPC perpetrated sexual violence linked to the conflict in a systematic and generalised manner,” the report indicated.

The report concludes that MINUSCA continues to document similar cases in regions under the control of these armed groups, which indicates that this type of violence is continuing.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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