UN: In CAR, Ethnic Cleansing, But Not Genocide

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Predominantly Christian militia in the Central African Republic have carried out ethnic cleansing of Muslims during the country’s ongoing civil war, a United Nations investigation has established. The report concluded that both Christian and Muslim militias had committed war crimes, but ruled out charges of genocide against the Christian anti-balaka militias.

The commission of inquiry, established in December 2013, admitted hardships in accessing many parts of the country where human rights abuses have been committed, and investigators estimate that at least 6,000 people have been killed in fighting since the anti-balaka took up arms in 2013.

The civil war in the Central African Republic began after predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels toppled president Francoise Bozize in March 2013, followed by months of violence and looting. The UN has assigned a multinational peacekeeping force, MINUSCA, charged with protecting civilians from the armed groups.

The multinational force took over from French peacekeepers, who have begun pulling out after they were blamed for further complicating the security situation in the country.

Between the Lines