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In CAR, Chad Soldiers Killed 30 Civilians, Unprovoked, OHCHR Says

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 4 -- The day after Chad announced it will pull its troops out of the Central African Republic after being accused of abuse and even murder there, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a damning report.

  The shooting up of a market in Bangui was unprovoked and killed 30. The full text is below.

  When Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq once again on April 3 about the Chadian "peacekeepers," he referred all questions to the African Union / MISCA -- despite Ban's public statements about CAR.

Inner City Press asked, "Chadians soldiers reportedly killed somewhere between 8 and 30 civilians: Has the UN found out at all whether these Chadian soldiers were part of MISCA or were they part of some other force?"

Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq replied, "itís up to MISCA to follow up in terms of whether their troops were involved, so you would need to ask the African Union."

  It must be noted that Ban's (or France's) chief of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous decided to include Chadian soldiers in the UN Mission in Mali MINUSMA despite Chad being on the UN's own list of child soldier recruiters. Now what?

  Here's what the OHCHR put out on April 4, 2014:

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Rupert Colville

Subject: Central African Republic

We have received more detailed information on the incident involving Chadian soldiers in Bangui on March 29, following an initial investigation carried out by a human rights team on the ground.

Earlier this week, the team from the Human Rights and Justice Section of BINUCA visited two medical centers (the Hopital Communautaire, and the Hopital General) where most of the survivors are being treated and also visited the site where the shooting took place at PK 12, in the North of Bangui.

According to the information they have collected so far, on March 29, Chadian national army soldiers in a convoy consisting of several military pick-ups entered Bangui, and went to the neighborhood known as PK 12. Several sources told the investigating team that they believed the Chadian force had entered Bangui to extract remaining Chadians and other Muslim inhabitants, in order to save them from further attacks by anti-Balaka.

As soon as the convoy reached the market area in PK 12, around 3:00 p.m., it reportedly opened fire on the population without any provocation. At the time, the market was full of people, including many girls and women buying and selling produce. As panic-stricken people fled in all directions, the soldiers allegedly continued firing indiscriminately.

According to information the human rights team has gathered so far, it seems the Chadian forceís action was totally disproportionate as they were shooting in a crowded market full of unarmed civilians.

According to the teamís preliminary findings, around 30 people were killed as a result of the shooting and over 300 were seriously injured, including children, people with disabilities, pregnant women and elderly people, as they were less able to run for their lives.

  On March 31, then UNSC President Sylvie Lucas told Inner City Press that she had read the reports, and understood that the Chadians were part of a team to evacuate other Chadians.

  We aim to have more on this. Watch this site.


 

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