Statement Delivered by Kelly J. Tucker,
Delegation of the United States of America
UN Human Rights Council – 28th Session
March 24, 2015
Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
The United States expresses its appreciation for the oral report of the Independent Expert. We also remain concerned about the serious human rights situation in CAR. We join the IE – and the people and leaders of CAR – in calling for an end to impunity for human rights abuses and for a process of reconciliation after the communal, inter-ethnic, and inter-religious violence that has torn the country apart. The reestablishment of a credible, domestic criminal justice system is part of the foundation for long-term peace and security. We strongly agree with the IE that a democratic political transition process that includes national dialogue, constitutional reform, and elections is a critical first step to achieving lasting peace and stability in CAR. We join the IE in calling on the transitional government, with the support of the international community, to advance this transition process.
The United States is also gravely concerned by reports of continuing violations of international humanitarian law and widespread human rights abuses by armed groups. We remain extremely concerned about reports of widespread sexual and gender-based violence and the ongoing unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers by armed groups. We join the IE in noting that the CAR transitional government now has the opportunity to address impunity for these and other serious crimes committed in CAR, including through the proposed domestic Special Criminal Court (ICC) and in cooperation with the International Criminal Court (ICC). We urge the CAR transitional government to prioritize passage of legislation to establish the Special Criminal Court. Doing so will be an important first step to eradicating impunity for such crimes.
The United States joins the IE in calling on the authorities to advance the transition process, including by holding the “Bangui Forum” to advance national dialogue, continuing the constitutional reform process, and accelerating preparations for free and fair elections. We underscore the importance of ensuring refugees and internally displaced persons can take part in this national transition process.
What has the IE observed regarding participation by women and ethnic minorities in the transitional government or election processes?
What is the status of legislation for the Special Criminal Court?
What has the CAR transitional government done to prioritize the identification, demobilization, and reintegration of the thousands of child soldiers reportedly in the CAR?