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On CAR, ICP Asks Ging of French Soldiers Killing 5 Civilians, MSF Clinic Hit

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 1 -- A week after French troops reportedly killed five civilians in the "Cameroonian district" of the PK5 neighborhood in Bangui, Central African Republic, Inner City Press asked UN Humanitarian John Ging about it, and about the killing by ex-Seleka forces of three MSF aid workers and 13 patients in Boguila. Video here,and embedded below.

  Ging, making a plea for more international help, mourned the dead MSF colleagues but seemed to say that the only people raising questions about the troops who have come to CAR are those inciting violence. He did not mention killings by the Chadian troops; nor did he directly address that French soldiers killed five civilians, according to spokesman for the Muslim community in PK5 Abakar Moustapha.

  Moustapha said the French soldiers' raid on a house in the neighborhood when the Senagalese owner was not there led to opposition from residents, to which the French responded with helicopter and gunfire killing five civilians.

   After a previous incident in which the French Sangaris troops were reported to have killed civilians, Inner City Press asked the UN what its mission there would do. Reference was made to an investigation, but no results have been announced. French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud stopped responding to such Press questions.

   Now the UN mission in CAR is set to be taken over by Frenchman Herve Ladsous' Department of Peacekeeping Operations and no longer the Department of Political Affairs. Given the history, will this hold the French forces more or LESS to account?

  Ladsous visited Brazzaville, Chad and now CAR, speaking to a UN microphone. At least Ging answers questions.

   When Chad's Permanent Representative to the UN Mahamat Zene Cherif -- who on April 30 told Inner City Press that Chad will not be any part of MINUSCA -- came to the Security Council stakeout on March 7, beyond asking him about child soldiers Inner City Press asked him about those who have had to flee Central African Republic into Chad. Shouldn't they be able to return to CAR? Video here and embedded below

Mahamat Zene Cherif said while Chad will not force anyone back, they should be able to return. He said that eighty percent of the Muslims have been chased out of the CAR.

How can elections be held this way, he asked.

Inner City Press asked if perhaps those displaced could vote even while in Chad. Mahamat Zene Cherif said the UN could check the feasibility, but that Chad would hope the displaced could return to CAR.

  The day before, Inner City Press tried to ask French Ambassador Gerard Araud about a statement or report by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that the French Sangaris force first disarming the ex-Seleka had left Muslim community vulnerable to attack by Christian anti-Balaka militias.

  Araud refused to take the question while at the microphone, then from the wings insisted there is no Navi Pillay report. Click here for that.

  What forces allowed 80% of the Muslims in CAR to be chased out? And what responsibility do they bear? Watch this site.


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