Organization of Islamic Cooperation seeks urgent relief for victims of Central African Republic violence

:: An expert panel of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has voiced deep concern about the deteriorating human rights situation in the Central African Republic (CAR).

It condemned the recent escalation of violence against civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR), including the attacks at a mosque in Kembe on Oct. 13, killing 26, and at Pombolo, where more than 100 people were massacred on Oct. 18.

The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC), an expert body with advisory capacity established by the OIC, has highlighted the rising number of violent attacks carried out by the Anti-Balaka militia against innocent civilians across the country, as well as the grave violations of human rights. They include summary executions, mass killings, torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearance, sexual violence, widespread looting of private and public property, and the desecration of places of worship.

“With the restoration of democracy following last year’s successful elections, the international community hoped that the situation in the CAR would finally stabilize with peace and security finally returning to the country,” the IPHRC said.

“Conversely, violence resurged in November 2016, killing and wounding hundreds.”

The IPHRC added: “Tens of thousands were forced to flee from their homes amid escalating hostility, which resulted from clashes between armed groups that continue to control a large part of CAR’s territory.”

UN officials warned of early signs of genocide, including the risk of a full-scale civil war, as state authority remains absent in most parts of the country.

These serious developments are deepening the prevailing humanitarian crisis and may expand the frontiers of insecurity in a region grappling with extremist groups.

IPHRC called on the authorities in the CAR and all relevant regional and international stakeholders, especially the UN Security Council, to take immediate action to bring an end to the ongoing violence and bloodshed in the country, and spare no efforts to bring those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice.

The IPHRC also appealed to regional and international humanitarian agencies to provide victims and needy people in the CAR with urgent aid.

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