Punish CAR lynching culprits - UN, France

2014-02-07 07:44
Members of the Central African Armed Forces lynch a man suspected of being a former Seleka rebel in Bangui. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

Members of the Central African Armed Forces lynch a man suspected of being a former Seleka rebel in Bangui. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

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

Bangui - The UN's top envoy and France on Thursday urged the Central African Republic authorities to punish soldiers involved in the gruesome public lynching of a suspected ex-rebel.

The UN representative Babacar Gaye said in Bangui that Wednesday's killing was "unacceptable" and "must be properly investigated and the culprits punished and made an example of".

Soldiers stabbed the man immediately after a military ceremony in the capital, beat him and crushed him with concrete blocks before dragging his lifeless body through the streets.

The mob dismembered the corpse, set it on fire and some then posed for pictures in front of it.

The lynching, widely captured on camera, happened just moments after new interim President Catherine Samba Panza spoke of her pride in seeing the country's armed forces contribute to national security again.

A spokesperson for the French force that deployed in the Central African Republic two months ago in a bid to stem spiralling sectarian violence said that the French troops present at the ceremony were only tasked with escorting their general and had already left when the lynching began.

"France condemns the heinous acts that followed the gathering of parts of the Central African armed forces," French foreign ministry spokesperson Romain Nadal said in Paris, demanding "a punishment that sets an example".

Risk areas

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is due in Bangui on 12 February, said in an interview that an extension of the UN mandate for France's 1,600-strong contingent was "likely" because of ongoing violence.

Gaye condemned the atmosphere of impunity in the country that allowed "a man to be attacked in broad daylight and his body desecrated."

Dozens of witnesses saw the Central African troops who took part in the lynching - some of whom were reunited for the first time since a rebellion toppled president Francois Bozize in March 2013 - but no soldiers were arrested.

Asked about the inaction of African Union troops who were present but failed to intervene, Gaye said: "Just because they are authorised to act does not mean that they should immediately engage in an armed confrontation. Lethal force should be used with restraint".

The International Federation of Human Rights said that "the setting up of a special unit to investigate and prepare trials dealing with these crimes must be a priority."'Missing links'

"All current operations to secure Bangui suffer from the lack of two missing links," Gaye said, referring to a functioning police force and judiciary.

Le Drian told French radio on Thursday that while the Sangaris mission's six-month mandate could be extended, a UN peacekeeping mission was needed in the long run.

"Otherwise this country, which is subject to regular atrocities, risks falling into chaos and it's very dangerous for a country in central Africa - near risk areas like the Sahel, the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes - to collapse," he said.

The violence spiralled out of control when ex-rebels from the Seleka group that seized power nearly a year ago went rogue and carried out atrocities against the Christian majority.

Killing and looting

The campaign of killings, rape and looting sparked revenge attacks by Christian vigilantes known as "anti-balaka" (anti-machete).

The UN and relief groups say around half of the country's 4.6 million population desperately needs humanitarian assistance while one in five inhabitant has been displaced.

The French troops are supporting some 5 500 soldiers of the MISCA force. Both contingents are based at Bangui airport and patrol the streets to disarm fighters and halt looting.

Le Drian said that the presence of French troops had brought back some stability to Bangui but not to the rest of the country, which is largely in the hands of local warlords.

Reports by aid workers from several towns in the interior tell of attacks by armed bands, killing and looting, with nobody to prevent the violence.

Read more on:    un  |  seleka rebels  |  catherine samba-panza  |  france  |  central african republic  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.