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Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Central African Republic
March 21, 2017

Ms. Marie-Therese Keita-Bocoum, Independent Expert

Statement by the United States of America
As delivered by Jason Mack

Human Rights Council 34th session
Geneva, March 21, 2017

Thank you Mr. President.  The United States thanks the Independent Expert for her report and recommendations.  We agree that the human rights situation in the Central African Republic remains a serious concern.

We welcome the progress made by Central African Republic authorities toward the establishment of the Special Criminal Court.  The United States strongly supports the efforts of the government to ensure that those who direct and perpetrate mass atrocities are held to account.  This is critical for preserving peace and stability.  It is vital to promote accountability and justice, and to send a message to those who would continue to commit violent acts that they will be held accountable.  In contrast, granting amnesty to perpetrators of mass atrocities would undermine peace, security, and stability.

Many human rights issues in the Central African Republic stem from the government’s weak authority outside the capital and from inadequate control over security forces.  We are alarmed that armed groups control significant swaths of territory throughout the country and engage in human rights abuses.  Killings perpetrated by these non-government rebel groups continue.

We remain concerned by reports of the use of excessive force by law enforcement, as well as reports of enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and sexual violence.  We also note reports that human rights groups have faced harassment and threats.

The government’s failure to take adequate steps to investigate and prosecute officials who committed violations or abuses, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government, creates a climate of impunity that is reinforced by victim’s general lack of access to the courts or to any effective remedy determined by competent authorities.

We have one question for Ms. Keita Bocoum – What additional actions can the government take to document abuses and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions?

Thank you Mr. President.