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U.S. Statement on the UPR WG Report on the Central African Republic
March 20, 2014

U.S. Intervention at the Adoption of the UPR WG Report for the Central African Republic

25th Session of the Human Rights Council

Delivered by Tabitha Snowbarger

Geneva, March 20, 2014

Thank you.

The United States welcomes the return of the delegation of the Central African Republic (CAR) to the Council and appreciates the opportunity to comment on the final Working Group report for the UPR of CAR.

We welcome the interim CAR government’s decision to accept recommendations to combat impunity for perpetrators of human rights abuses, end the recruitment and use of child soldiers, ensure the free circulation of humanitarian workers, and conduct free and fair presidential elections without undue delay.

We remain deeply concerned by a range of human rights violations and abuses occurring in the CAR that began with the Seleka rebellion in 2012. In particular, during the review a number of governments made recommendations on steps the CAR government should take to combat the recruitment and use of child soldiers, including considering as a matter of priority ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Once ratified, it should be implemented nationally, and the Ministry of Interior should monitor self-defense militias for the presence of child soldiers.  We urge the interim CAR government to work with the international community to expeditiously implement these recommendations to ensure greater human rights protections for the children of the CAR.

Many governments also made recommendations on the importance of ending impunity for human rights violations committed by security forces.  We urge the interim CAR government to fulfill its public pledge to prioritize justice and accountability for past violations and abuses and to consider technical assistance from the OHCHR and international community to assist with justice and accountability efforts.

We are pleased with the CAR government’s engagement in the UPR process and look forward to continued dialogue.

Thank you.