Notorious rebel coalition ‘Seleka’ has overran the capital of Central African Republic, prompting the country’s president to flee to Cameroon.
Reports say 13 of CAR soldiers were killed in fighting with rebels.
Ousted President Francois Bozize reportedly sought refuge in Cameroon earlier this week.
The African Union (AU) responded to the turmoil by imposing a travel ban and asset freeze on seven leaders of the Seleka rebel coalition.
AU also emphasizes that Seleka’s advance had undermined the country’s effort to find solution to the crisis engulfing the country.
AU also urges African states to deny “any sanctuary and cooperation” to the rebel leaders.
US Deeply concerned about CAR’s worsening security situation
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the United States is deeply concerned about a serious deterioration in the security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR).
US urgently calls on the Seleka leadership which has taken control of Bangui to establish law and order in the city and to restore basic services of electricity and water.
“We also urge all parties to allow for unhindered humanitarian access.” – Ms. Nuland
In addition, the U strongly urges the Seleka leadership to recognize the continued legitimacy of the Libreville Agreement, ensure its implementation and provide full support to Prime Minister Tiangaye and his government, which was appointed pursuant to that agreement.
US also welcomes the continuing engagement of regional leaders, including President Deby of the Republic of Chad and President Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo, in negotiating a durable political solution to the current crisis, under the provisions of the Libreville Agreement.
“The United States urgently calls on all parties to ensure that their forces respect the human rights of the Central African people and other individuals in CAR.” – Ms. Nuland
Ms. Nuland says the US government is very concerned by the worsening humanitarian situation in CAR and credible, widespread reports of human rights abuses by both national security forces and Seleka fighters.
Perpetrators of such abuses must be held accountable, she underlined.
US Concerned Over Central African Republic Unrest
The United States is concerned about deteriorating security in war-torn Central African Republic (CAR).
US has urged CAR government and Seleka coalition to implement January’s ceasefire deal.
Earlier this year, the rebel Seleka coalition and President Francois Bozize’s government signed a ceasefire agreement in Gabon to end the grave insurgency sweeping across the country.
US Urges parties to end hostilities
The Economic Community of Central African States (CEAAC) should rapidly convene the mediation committee called for by the Libreville Agreement in order to support the transitional government and help restore national peace and security.
The Government of National Unity is the single, representative entity agreed to by all the parties in the Libreville Agreement to govern the country in this critical transitional period.
The US government strongly urges regional leadership and the international community to adhere to the Libreville Agreement and provide their full support to Prime Minister Tiangaye and his government.
In addition, the United States urgently calls on the Seleka leadership and on the CAR government to ensure that their forces respect the human rights of the Central African people.
Seleka rebels gain momentum in CAR
In December 2012, due to concerns about the security of US personnel, the US State Department temporarily suspended its operations in the Central African Republic.
Reports says Seleka rebels have taken several key towns and cities, including the diamond centre of Bria.
US States Department ordered its diplomatic team to evacuate as rebels continue to advance and violence may escalate.
U.S. ambassador and its diplomatic staff have reportedly flown out of Bangui and headed to Kenya.
US Ambassador Wohlers and his diplomatic team left Bangui along with several private U.S. citizens.
The United States has encouraged all parties in the Central African Republic to participate in the dialogue to be held under the auspices of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) to develop a comprehensive agreement that will offer a new vision of peace and security for the country.
Earlier in December 2012, towns were attacked by the ‘Seleka’ coalition of armed groups and CAR lost the town of Kaga Bandoro to northern rebels.
The Seleka rebel coalition has reportedly gained momentum in its advances and attacks.
In addition, the UN has reported that another extremist group called Lord’s Resistance Army has also increased its attack in central Africa, leading to the displacement of thousands of people.
Attacks have taken place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 13 attacks in the DRC were recorded which resulted in two killings and 13 abductions, and the displacement of 1,230 people mostly from the Dungu territory in the country’s north-east.
In CAR, LRA attacks have resumed after a lull since April 2011 with 11 attacks recorded this year.
In addition, the LRA has also conducted attacks in South Sudan, which last year led to 7,382 people fleeing their homes.
LRA-related violence is seriously hampering humanitarian work in the province. According to UN data some 2,000 people have been killed and 2,500 abducted, including 892 children, in attacks against civilians in villages and towns across the Orientale province since December 2007.
The LRA was formed in the 1980s in Uganda and for over 15 years its attacks were mainly directed against Ugandan civilians and security forces, which in 2002 dislodged the rebels.