MINUSCA publishes the results of its investigations into the 15 november 2018 attack on an IDP camp in Alindao
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), published today its report on the attack against an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Alindao, Basse-Kotto prefecture, on 15 November 2018. This report follows an investigation conducted by the Human Rights Division of MINUSCA, in accordance with the mandate conferred to it by the Security Council.
The attack against the IDP camp in Alindao was carried out by fighters of Unité pour la paix en Centrafrique (UPC) and its affiliates and resulted in the deaths of at least 112 civilians, including 44 women and 19 minors. Investigations conducted by the Human Rights Division of MINUSCA also documented that anti-Balaka elements killed at least two Muslim citizens in the vicinity of Alindao during the days preceding the UPC attack.
The investigations concluded that UPC fighters destroyed and looted property, belonging to IDPs, the Catholic Church, and NGOs. The UPC burned hundreds of shelters in the IDP site and forced thousands of civilians to flee into the bush around Alindao, where they were exposed to insecurity and lack of food, water, shelter and health care.
During the investigations, MINUSCA also established that anti-Balaka combatants perpetrated numerous ambushes against Muslim citizens on the outskirts of Alindao. During the days preceding the 15 November UPC attack, at least two civilians were murdered by the anti-Balaka. These attacks, which are part of a series of violent actions dating back to at least 2017, are poisoning relations between the Christian and Muslim communities, increasing the risk of intercommunal violence in Alindao and other areas.
These extremely serious findings have been brought to the attention of the authorities of the Central African Republic so that appropriate measures can be taken.
On 6 February 2019, the Government of the Central African Republic and fourteen (14) armed groups signed in Bangui the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in the Central African Republic with the strong support of the international community, including the United Nations, which signed as a Facilitator. In this regard, MINUSCA reminds the armed groups of the responsibilities they have assumed by signing the Agreement. They have pledged, among other things, to cease hostilities immediately, put an end to all attacks against civilians, protect displaced persons and to facilitate their return. The Agreement therefore gives hope that crimes as serious as those that occurred in Alindao on 15 November 2018 will not be repeated in the territory of the Central African Republic.
MINUSCA also encourages the Christian and Muslim communities of Alindao and their leaders to resist sectarian attacks and retaliatory acts and to increase their efforts for peace and social cohesion. MINUSCA stands ready to support these efforts.
Thirty-five MINUSCA soldiers were present at the IDP camp at the time of the 15 November attack, but were unable to prevent the loss of civilian lives. The Mission launched an internal investigation into these events to clarify allegations that their response was inadequate or
inappropriate. After the attack, MINUSCA gradually quadrupled the number of peacekeepers deployed in Alindao. This measure, which started as early as 16 November 2018, strengthened security in the town and allowed many IDPs to return safely to the site.