Help the Victims in the Central African Republic

UN Watch testimony to 20th special session of the UNHRC,
delivered by Hillel Neuer, 20 January 2014

Merci, Monsieur le Président.On behalf of United Nations Watch, I wish to congratulate you upon your election as President, and to extend our blessings for a successful year ahead in promoting and protecting human rights.Victims in the Central African Republic require this Council’s attention. Just yesterday, members of the ICRC buried 50 bodies. Much of the population is in danger of reprisals, with no one to protect them. Many have fled their homes and are hiding in the bush.

Mr. President, we need to make sure that the authorities and international armed forces present in the country take immediate action to end the intercommunal violence.

Nearly 1 million people have been displaced by the fighting. Widespread human rights violations including extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, mutilations and rape have been reported by the UN.

John Ging, director of operations at the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs, has just returned from the Central African Republic. He is warning of genocide.

He said: “It has all the elements that we have seen elsewhere, in places like Rwanda and Bosnia. The elements are there, the seeds are there, for a genocide. There’s no question about that.”

Mr. President: He said a genocide may be avoided by a massive scaling up in the international response to the crisis.

And so, today, we call upon the international community to do all it can to provide humanitarian aid, to those in Central African Republic and to all of those who were forced to flee.

Cameroon, for example, now has 52,000 refugees, and has also repatriated 5,000 of its own citizens who are facing danger. Donor agencies including the World Food Program and the Cameroon Red Cross say they do not have the supplies to meet the increasing humanitarian needs.

Mr. President, on this day, UN Watch urges all stakeholders to contribute urgently and generously to help those in desperate need in the Central African Republic.

Merci, Monsieur le Président.

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