MINUSCA denounces the violence by RJ and MNLC armed groups that provoked a humanitarian crisis in the sub-prefecture of Paoua
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) condemns the ongoingviolence between the Revolution and Justice (RJ) group under the command of Armel NingatoloumSayo, and the National Movement for the Liberation of Central African Republic (MNLC) under the commandof Mahamat Bahar. This recent wave of violence, which broke out at the end of December, hasdestabilized several sub-prefectures, triggered the displacement of 60,000 people, and caused a humanitarian crisis. The Central African Government, African Union, and MINUSCA have called upon both groups to cease hostilities and ensure the protection of civilians, but to no avail.
Preliminary investigations led by MINUSCA indicate that members of RJ have intentionally attacked and killed civilians, targeting the Muslim and Peuhlcommunities in particular. In addition, the MNLC are believed to be responsible for the destruction of several villages north of Paoua, burning hundreds of houses and causing many deaths and the forced displacement of populations in these areas. The control by armed groups of access roads in these areas has forced many civilians to hide in the bush without access to assistance.
MINUSCA is conducting an operation to oust armed groups in and around Paoua in order to establish a secure perimeter in the area and enable the return of displaced populations.
MINUSCA reminds Armel Ningatoloum Sayo and Mahamat Bahar of their personal criminalresponsibility for any grave crimes committed by combatants under their command.
MINUSCA is collaborating closely with the Government of the Central African Republic to ensure an appropriate judicial response and will support the Government in investigating the crimes committed andprosecuting those responsible, as well as the commanding officers that directed or supervised the offenses.