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February 16-22, 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for the Central African Republic
Posted on February 23, 2015

Contents

Compiled by Christina Murphy

  1. International forces dismantle barriers, retake building from ex-Selekas in Bambari
  2. At least two killed in armed attack in northwest CAR
  3. NGOs call for the creation of a special criminal court to combat impunity
  4. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issues report on CAR
  5. Bishops call for voluntary disarmament during the Lenten season
  6. NGOs hold rally in Bangui, denounce recent insecurity

1. International forces dismantle barriers, retake building from ex-Selekas in Bambari
Privately-owned media

"Ali Daras quitte la Cour d'appel de Bambari: mécontentement des Musulmans." Radio Ndeke Luka, 17 February 2015. In French.

  • Supporters of Seleka general Ali Daras set up barricades on key bridges and held protests in the city of Bambari after Daras was pressured to disarm and leave the town's Court of Appeals building. Muslim and ex-Seleka youths had controlled the Court of Appeals building since Friday 13 February.
  • International forces, including members of the Congolese contingent of MINUSCA, dismantled the barriers on Monday 16 February. In the course of dismantling the barriers, grenade blasts reportedly killed two people and injured fifteen, but the article does not indicate the origins of the blasts or the identities of those injured.
  • An anonymous source reported that the barriers and protests had stopped internally displaced people in the town from accessing food and potable water and had blocked humanitarian access. 

"Les manifestants de Bambari déguerpis de force par la Sangaris." Centrafrique Libre, 17 February 2015. In French.

  • A group of Muslim youth and ex-Seleka fighters were driven from their positions on the Ouaka bridge in Bambari by French Sangaris forces on Monday 16 February. The youth had been protesting since Friday 13 February.
  • According to individuals interviewed by Centrafrique Libre, the French soldiers used tear gas and fired shots to disperse the protesters, who then entered surrounding neighborhoods and "pillaged, vandalized the area, and committed acts of violence."
  • One source reported that three people were killed and several more injured, but as of the time of publication there were no official reports from the Sangaris or any local NGOs. 
2. At least two killed in armed attack in northwest CAR
International Media

"Centrafrique: deux morts dans l'attaque d'un village par des hommes armés." AFP, via Africatime.com, 17 February 2015. In French.

  • The gendarmerie reported that at least two people were killed and several injured in an attack in a village in northwest CAR on Monday 16 February. The source within the gendarmerie said that the attackers were armed Puehls and ex-Seleka fighters, coming from the Chadian border. 
  • The victims were reportedly merchants on their way to a weekly market near the Chadian border. 
3. NGOs call for the creation of a special criminal court to combat impunity
Government-owned media

"19 ONG appellent le CNT à créer la Cour pénale spéciale pour lutter contre l'impunité." Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 19 February 2015. In French.

  • Nineteen Central African and international NGOs issued a statement urging the National Transitional Council to adopt a law that would create a Special Criminal Court to ensure justice for the victims of the violence in Central African Republic.
  • The Special Court would be created jointly with the United Nations, be comprised of both national and international judges, and judge the most severe crimes committed in CAR since 1 January 2012. 
Privately-owned media

"Les activistes des droits de l'Homme pour la création d'une Cour pénale spéciale." Radio Ndeke Luka, 20 February 2015. In French.

  • Nearly twenty human rights organizations delivered a statement to the National Transitional Council calling for the creation of a Special Criminal Court to deal with crimes committed in CAR since 1 January 2012.
  • Joseph Bindoumi, president of the Central African League of Human Rights, stated that the transitional government, with the support of civil society, needs to consider creating the Special Court due to "the impossibility of magistrates freely doing their work in the whole country" and the documented war crimes and crimes against humanity that have been committed in recent years. 
4. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs issues report on CAR
International Media

"High-level mission calls for greater access and protection of IDPs and vulnerable communities in Central African Republic." ReliefWeb, 15 February 2015. In English.

  • United Nations officials recently finished a five-day visit to Central African Republic to assess the humanitarian situation in the country and issued the report of their findings.
  • The report found that the need for humanitarian assistance in CAR remains extremely high, particularly for internally displaced populations and minority communities that are trapped due to ongoing violence.
  • The report also notes that the conflict is becoming more complex and multi-layered as armed groups fragment, and that the lines between civilians and members of armed groups are often blurred. Attacks against civilians "are rife, including sexual gender based violence and forced enrollment of children in armed groups."
  • The officials also spoke to the pressing need to restore social cohesion and build trust across divided communities. 
5. Bishops call for voluntary disarmament during the Lenten season
Government-owned media

"Les Evêques de Centrafrique appellent au désarmement en cette période carême." APA, via Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 22 February 2015. In French.

  • The bishops of the Episcopal church of Central African Republic issued a letter calling on all Christians to voluntarily lay down their arms and repent for the season of Lent. 
  • The bishop's letter was sent to all the parishes in the archdiocese of Bangui on Sunday 22 February. 
6. NGOs hold rally in Bangui, denounce recent insecurity
Government-owned media

"Le Coordonnateur de l'Ong Génération consciente, Patrick Alain De-Komah, lance un vibrant appel de neutralité à la jeunesse." Agence Centrafrique Presse (ACAP), 20 February 2015. In French.

  • Several NGOs, led by the organization Génération Consciente, held a sit-in at the headquarters of the UN in Bangui to denounce the recent insecurity in Bangui and other parts of the country.
  • The coordinator of Génération Consciente, Patrick Alain De-Komah, called on the government to better protect its citizens, urged politicians to sincerely support the transitional government, and asked NGOs to bring aid to those who need it. 
International media

"Manifestations contre l'insécurité galopante à Bangui." APA, via Africatime.com, 21 February 2015. In French.

  • The organization Génération Consciente and several other human rights organizations held a sit-in at the United Nations headquarters to criticize the increase in violence in Bangui and to urge the international forces to strictly apply Security Council Resolution 2149, which allows the UN to forcibly disarm armed groups in CAR.
  • The organizations also criticized the "troubling" ongoing negotiations in Nairobi, which they said contribute nothing to the process of reconciliation. 
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