Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

Human Rights Council - 24th Regular Session

Item 10
Interactive dialogue on
the Situation of Human Rights in the Central African Republic

25 September 2013

 

Australia thanks the High Commissioner for Human Rights for her report on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic. We remain concerned by the grave humanitarian situation, as detailed in the report.

Australia welcomes the measures taken by the transitional authorities to restore peace and security; particularly the disarmament and cantonment of Seleka soldiers which began on 1 July and the subsequent decree on 13 September dissolving the rebels.

Australia also welcomes the decree on 20 May 2013 establishing a Joint National Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations committed since 2004. We encourage the National Commission to also investigate crimes committed by the Seleka during the last year.

The human rights situation in CAR remains critical. Summary executions, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, sexual violence, looting, and grave violations against children, including recruitment and sexual violence, have been widely reported for months and appear to continue unabated. Perpetrators still have no reason to fear being held to account. Increasing evidence of deepening religious and ethnic tensions, previously absent from the country, suggests long-term consequences for stability.

Australia calls on the transitional authorities to improve access for humanitarian organisations as an immediate priority so that urgently-needed humanitarian support can be delivered. The recent killing of two aid workers in Bossangoa will only serve to further discourage aid organisations from working in the country. The transitional authorities must do all it can to protect humanitarian workers.

We also encourage AFISM-CAR, the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office (BINUCA), the UN Country Team and other UN entities such as the World Food Programme and UNICEF to establish mechanisms for effective cooperation with each other and with the transitional authorities to enable them to combat human rights abuses and improve the overall situation in the Central African Republic.