With the deteriorating security engulfing Central African Republic (CAR), the United States of America today called on the rebel alliance to cease hostilities and movements towards the capital.
In her statement in Washington DC today, Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says US urgently call on the CAR government to ensure that its security forces respect the human rights of the Central African people and foreign populations within the CAR.
“We are particularly concerned by allegations of arrests and disappearances of hundreds of individuals who are members of ethnic groups with ties to the Seleka rebel alliance.” – Ms. Nuland
She says those guilty of violations and crimes under international law must be held to account.
The United States remains concerned about stability of the region, she added.
The US encourages all parties in the CAR to participate in the dialogue convoked by the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC in French).
In addition, the US urges the parties to seek a political resolution to the crisis that is comprehensive, inclusive, and consistent with the CAR constitution and the 2008 Global Peace Agreement.
Last month, 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.
Reports say 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 last month.
US Ambassador Wohlers and his diplomatic team left Bangui today 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 this year, 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.