CAR toll 'much higher than thought'

2013-12-19 12:30
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - December clashes in the Central African Republic have already claimed in excess of 1 000 lives, more than three times what had been previously reported, Amnesty International said Thursday.

Muslim fighters in the capital Bangui are accused of having killed almost 1,000 people over the space of just two days of retaliatory acts after Christian vigilante groups killed about 60 Muslim men on 5 December, the human rights group said in a report based on a two-week research mission.

Other acts of violence have pushed the death toll above the 1 000-mark, according to the report.

The victims of the revenge rampage by the de facto government forces, known as Seleka, were mostly men, but included women and children, it said, adding that the militiamen also looted civilian homes.

The Red Cross said on 7 December  it had counted 281 bodies.

"War crimes and crimes against humanity are being committed by all parties to the conflict," Amnesty's Central Africa expert Christian Mukosa said.

"Crimes that have been committed include extrajudicial executions, mutilation of bodies, intentional destruction of religious buildings such as mosques and the forced displacement of massive numbers of people."

Despite the presence of French and African military forces, civilians continued to be "wilfully killed on a daily basis, with at least 90 additional people killed since 8 December," Amnesty said.

France has sent 1 600 troops to CAR, which has been plunged into a humanitarian crisis since the Seleka coalition rose up against the government in December 2012 and overthrew president Francois Bozize, a Christian, in March.

Interim president Michel Djotodia has been struggling to restore law and order in the country, which is rich in gold and diamonds, despite the support of more than 3 500 African Union peacekeepers.

About 400 000 of CAR's 4.5 million people have been displaced and scores of civilians have been killed, especially in the country's north-west.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.