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CAR must impartially investigate Bongboto killings and bring killers to justice – UN expert

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GENEVA (27 July 2021) - A UN expert called on authorities in the Central African Republic to thoroughly investigate the killing of 13 individuals whose bodies were found by UN peacekeepers north of the capital, Bangui, last week.

"I deplore the killing of these individuals, and call for justice to be served for the victims and their families," said Yao Agbetse, UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic.

The 13 people were killed on 21 July in the vicinity of Bongboto village, 12 km from Bossangoa (Ouham Prefecture - Bossangoa Sub-Prefecture) on the Bossangoa-Nana-Bakassa axis, some 300 kilometres north of the capital.

The UN peacekeeping mission, MINUSCA, sent a joint patrol of UN Police (UNPOL) and MINUSCA Force to the Bossangoa-Nana-Bakassa axis and dispatched a joint mission composed of UNPOL and its Human Rights Section to investigate and establish the facts.

"I appeal to the Central African authorities to shed light on this alarming incident as soon as possible," said Agbetse. "Impartial and diligent investigations must be carried out, the facts established, the perpetrators and all their accomplices must be identified.

"The CAR Government must keep on its promise -- made in a statement issued the same day the bodies were found -- to open a judicial investigation to identify the perpetrators of these heinous crimes and their accomplices and bring them to justice. The victims and their families deserve no less."

ENDS

Mr. Yao Agbetse* (Togo), Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, is a human rights lawyer, researcher and teacher who has devoted the last 25 years of his life to justice and human rights, including the rights of the child. He has implemented human rights programs at the national level and has provided legal and technical advice for the development and monitoring of national human rights laws and policies, particularly in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Togo. He has created a space and tools for dialogue and joint efforts by state actors and CSOs. In the DRC, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali, it has implemented DDR programs, trained army and police chiefs, and provided support to mandate-holders and United Nations operations, including participating in the interactive dialogue under item 10 during sessions of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. He provided first-hand and factual information to UN experts to help them assess human rights challenges in different countries and made specific and workable recommendations to ensure accountability and access to Justice.*

*The mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic was established by the Human Rights Council on 27 September 2013.*

*Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures' experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.*

UN Human Rights, Country Page: Central African Republic

*For more information and ****media requests****, please contact: Isatou Harris (+41 22 928 9422 / iharris@ohchr.org) or write to *ie-car@ohchr.org

*For media enquiries regarding other UN independent experts, please contact Renato de Souza ( +41 22 928 9855 / rrosariodesouza@ohchr.org).*

*Follow news related to the UN's independent human rights experts on Twitter @UN_SPExperts.*