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June 22 - 28, 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for the Central African Republic 22-28 June
Posted on July 2, 2015

Contents

Compiled by Christina Murphy

1. MINUSCA peacekeepers accused of sexually abusing children in Bangui

2. Boycotts disrupt electoral registrations in Bangui's 3rd arrondissement


1. MINUSCA peacekeepers accused of sexually abusing children in Bangui 
Privately-owned media
 

 "Centrafrique: nouvelles accusations d'abus sexuels sur enfants par des militaires." AFP, via         Journal de Bangui, 24 June 2015. In French.

  • On 24 June 2015 the spokesman for the UN mission in CAR (MINUSCA) announced that the mission had been informed of accusations that peacekeepers had sexually abused street children in Bangui.
  • Very few details were given, but sources say that the allegations were against an African contingent of MINUSCA.
  • The spokesman said that the UN is working to verify the claims and give aid to the victims. An investigation will likely also be carried out by the contingent in question.
 
International media
 

"Centrafrique: nouvelles accusations d'abus sexuels sur enfants par des Casques bleus." Jeune Afrique, 23 

  • According to anonymous sources within the UN, members of an African contingent of MINUSCA are accused of sexually abusing two young girls under the age of 16. The girls told a local NGO that they had received food and other products in return for sexual favors.
  • This is the most recent of a string of sexual abuse allegations that have come out in recent months against French Sangaris soldiers and UN Peacekeepers.

"RCA: nouveaux soupçons d'abus sue des enfants par des casques bleus." Radio France Internationale (RFI), 25 June 2015. In French.

  • The UN mission in CAR (MINUSCA) is opening an investigation after allegations that peacekeepers sexually abused two or three 13-year-old girls in Bangui.
  • The information was only passed on to the UN on 19 June 2015, but the allegations may stretch as far back as 2014.

2. Boycotts disrupt electoral registration in Bangui's 3rd arrondissement
Privately-owned media

"Boycott du lancement officiel des opérations électorales à Bangui." Radio Ndeke Luka, 26       June 2015. In French.

  • A group of unidentified men boycotted the official opening of electoral registration in Bangui's 3rd arrondissement on Friday 24 June. A group of diplomats attending the ceremony were forced to leave the venue, while the protestors shouted insults and threats.

"Les jeunes de la COMUC chassent Malinas et boycottent les opérations de recensement électoral dans le 3ème arrondissement." Centrafrique Libre, 26 June 2015. In French.

  • According to reports, a group of youths interrupted the official opening ceremony of the electoral registration in the 3rd arrondissement of Bangui on Friday 26 June. The youths were reportedly protesting the involvement of France in organizing the national legislative and presidential elections.
  • The boycott caused the ceremony to end early and the invited diplomats left the building. While leaving the building, the mayor of the 3rd arrondissement was knocked down by one of the protestors.

 

International media

"RCA: le recensement pré-électoral repoussé après une agression." Radio France Internationale (RFI), 28 June 2015. In French.

  • The opening of electoral registration was halted in Bangui's 3rd arrondissement after protestors stormed the hall and disrupted the proceedings.
  • The mayor of the 3rd arrondissement also reported that protestors, who some bystanders said were ex-Seleka militants, knocked him down in front of the French and UN representatives.
  • The opening ceremony was postponed until 27 June, when it will instead be held in the 7th arrondissement. 

 


Analysis

            The news coverage from this week highlights some of the key challenges facing the Central African Republic in this immediate post-conflict period – namely, the fight against impunity, the need to address grassroots grievances, and the difficulty of encouraging widespread buy-in for transitional mechanisms. While much of the intercommunal violence has subsided in Bangui, sporadic violence continues to occur (particularly in rural areas), and distrust between ex-militant groups and between Muslim and Christian civilians remains high. The creation of transitional justice bodies, such as the Special Court for CAR, and the commitment to holding elections are positive signs, but these developments must also be accompanied by concerted efforts to de-escalate tensions and rebuild relationships at the grassroots level.  

 

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