Human rights situation in the Central African Republic - Report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic (A/HRC/42/61)
Human Rights Council
9–27 September 2019
Agenda item 10
Technical assistance and capacity-building
The present report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, Marie-Thérèse Keita-Bocoum, drawn up pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 39/19 of 28 September 2017, covers the period from July 2018 to June 2019. It describes general trends in the human rights situation in the Central African Republic and the major developments affecting it.
The reporting period was marked by an intensification of the peace talks, which led to the adoption, on 6 February 2019, of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic between the Central African Government and 14 armed groups. The agreement, signed in Bangui, was the result of the negotiations held in Khartoum from 24 January to 5 February 2019, in the framework of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic, launched by the African Union.
As to developments in the human rights situation, the number of violations remained high until the end of 2018 and then fell sharply in the first half of 2019.
This decrease is attributable in part to the absence of major confrontations between rival armed groups or attacks on the civilian population, and to the signing of the Peace Agreement on 6 February 2019 in Bangui. However, an attack by members of the armed group Retour, réclamation et réhabilitation (Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation), one of the signatories to the Agreement, was a setback in this trend towards improvement.
The Independent Expert wishes to emphasize that the peace process will succeed only if the Peace Agreement is implemented in good faith by all parties to the conflict.
Justice is key to resolving the crisis in the Central African Republic and will be the decisive factor in the success of the peace process.
The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 39/19 of 28 September 2018 renewing the mandate of the Independent Expert and requesting her to submit a written report at its forty-second session.
The present report covers the period from July 2018 to June 2019, during which the Independent Expert made two visits to the Central African Republic, from 15 to 25 January and from 4 to 14 June. In the course of these missions, the Independent Expert met with the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Central Africans Abroad, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of the Interior, Public Security and Regional Government, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, the Minister for the Advancement of Women, the Family and the Protection of Children, the Minister of Health and Population, the Minister for Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation, and the Minister for Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation. She also met with the Speaker of the National Assembly, the President and members of the National Commission on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the President of the High Council for Communication and the President and judges of the Special Criminal Court.
The Independent Expert also held discussions with senior management and chiefs of the various components of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), the United Nations country team, humanitarian workers and representatives of the diplomatic community, including the African Union, the Group of African States, the European Union Military Training Mission in the Central African Republic, China, France, the United States of America and the European Union. She also met with representatives of the armed groups, civil society, political parties including the opposition, human rights organizations and women’s and youth organizations, and religious leaders. Lastly, she met with victims and displaced persons. She went to Bangassou, visited the women’s prison in Bimbo and met with young people from the Ngaragba prison.
At the fortieth session of the Human Rights Council, the Independent Expert took part in the high-level interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic. In parallel with that session, the Independent Expert, with the Permanent Mission of the Central African Republic to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, and the Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral for Children and Armed Conflict, organized a side event on the situation of children and young people in the armed conflict and the peace process in the country. The event was supported by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the African Union, Belgium, France and Morocco. At the fortieth session, the final report of the universal periodic review of the Central African Republic (A/HRC/40/12) was adopted. The recommendations made to the country include: the launching of the National Commission on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in compliance with the Principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (Paris Principles), the adoption of a comprehensive law on discrimination, the improvement of the juvenile justice system and the adoption of a road map for transitional justice.
At the forty-first session of the Human Rights Council, the Independent Expert presented an oral update on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic. She also met with representatives of the United Nations system, the diplomatic community and non-governmental organizations in Geneva.
The present report is also an opportunity to take stock of the key recommendations made by the Independent Expert in the various reports submitted to the Human Rights Council.
The Independent Expert thanks the Central African authorities for their cooperation during the course of her mandate, the United Nations, MINUSCA and particularly the Human Rights Division for their support, as well as donors for their support of her mandate. She is grateful to civil society organizations and all those who, over the years, have given her essential information. Lastly, she is grateful to the victims she has met who have kindly shared with her their stories and their expectations for their country.