UN official warns of dire consequences for Central African Republic

UN official warns of dire consequences for Central African Republic

Haitian politician shot dead, as violent gangs push country to the ‘edge of collapse’

In the runup to next year’s presidential elections in Central African Republic, at least eight killings have been reported in and around its capital, Bangui, over the past three months.

A day before the election is due to be held, the United Nations’ human rights office has warned of dire consequences for the country unless international peacekeepers are sent.

Cases have been reported across the country from the capital, to the coastal city of Pointe Noire, to the north where rebel leader Michel Djotodia is reportedly still believed to be in command.

There are fears that the situation has spiralled out of control, and the country could fall into anarchy, amid the presence of powerful armed groups and the lack of aid.

On Monday, a senior official at the UN mission in Central African Republic, MINUSCA, and the international community said that “a critical need exists” for international peacekeeping forces to be sent to the country.

The country has been gripped by violence since the president lost the 2013 presidential elections, in which members of his Nidaa Liban militia were accused of election sabotage.

“Right now, we have to be very careful, but we have seen that these people are not being controlled by the law, which is the only thing that exists,” said Charles Mafouz, the UN official.

“We have seen that the situation has spiralled out of control since the elections, so we have to send a strong message to [the authorities]. Enough is enough,” Professor Mafouz added.

The UN official said the violence threatened to destabilise the country, which is already struggling with food shortages and disease. He said the country was also “in real danger of collapse, and needs immediate intervention from the international community”.

The UN is currently in talks

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