Report on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic (CAR) from 1 June 2015 to 31 March 2016
**Executive Summary **
This report is the third public report jointly issued by the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It describes the human rights situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) between 1 June 2015 and 31 March 2016, which marked the end of the Government of transition. The overview provided is based on human rights monitoring conducted by the Human Rights Division (HRD) of MINUSCA.
The security and human rights situation in CAR continued to be a cause for major concern during the reporting period. The number of violations/abuses and victims increased by over 70 percent compared to the period covered by the first report, September 2014 to 31 May 2015. This notwithstanding, the general scale and severity of the conflict decreased with the exception of the outbreak of sectarian violence on 26 September 2015, in Bangui. The latter outbreak led to a significant increase in the number of violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law by non-state armed groups, namely the Anti-Balaka and ex-Séléka and to a lesser extent, by State actors.
The inter-communal rapprochement prompted by the Pope’s visit at the end of November 2015 contributed to a decrease in tension and violence in Bangui and throughout the country. With support from MINUSCA, the constitutional referendum and the legislative and presidential elections were held in December 2015 with relatively few security incidents.
During the period under review, HRD documented 1,301 cases of human rights violations and abuses affecting at least 2,473 victims throughout CAR. Of these 2,473 victims, HRD verified and recorded 2,069 adults, including 1000 men and 261 women, 203 children including 91 boys and 67 girls, while for the rest of the reported victims it was not possible to strictly verify their age and sex. The main perpetrators continued to be armed elements from the Anti-Balaka, ex-Séléka /UPC/FPRC/FDPC, LRA, Fulani affiliated with R3, RPRC, and the RJ3.
The types of violations and abuses committed were mainly arbitrary killings, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, sexual violence, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, destruction and confiscation of property, and restrictions on the freedom of movement.
During the reporting period, the LRA increased their criminal activities in the southeast. Government forces were also responsible for serious violations, including arbitrary killings, ill-treatment and arbitrary arrest and detention.
The protection of civilians, which is one of the top priorities of MINUSCA, continued to be hampered by the very limited presence of State institutions, particularly outside of Bangui. The protection of civilians was further negatively impacted by slow progress in the reconstitution of legitimate security forces, their limited presence and capacities throughout the country, and the control of most of the central and eastern areas by armed groups, mainly the ex-Séléka and its different factions. Administration of justice is still largely dysfunctional despite ongoing technical support and capacity-building by MINUSCA and other actors to reopen courts and detention facilities.
This report identifies challenges faced by the Transitional Government to address human rights concerns and describes steps taken by the authorities and the international community to ensure the protection of civilians, to prevent human rights abuses and to promote human rights. It presents recommendations to the Government authorities, armed groups and the international community.