U.S. Statement as delivered by Christina Bruff
Human Rights Council 36th Session
Geneva, September 28, 2017
Thank you Mr. President. The United States thanks the Independent Expert for her engagement.
The United States is deeply concerned by the alarming increase in violence in the Central African Republic, which includes targeted attacks against civilians, UN peacekeepers, and humanitarians. Many such attacks appear to be motivated based on religious or ethnic identity, including attacks against Muslims and Fulani. The violence has resulted in the displacement of many civilians, both within the country and to neighboring countries. We urge armed groups including the Popular Front for the Renaissance in the Central African Republic, Union for Peace in the Central African Republic, anti-Balaka forces, and the 3R to refrain from further violence.
The people of CAR have consistently demanded justice for the atrocities they have suffered. Any calls for blanket amnesty for those responsible for atrocities including war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide should be rejected. We welcome the progress toward the establishment of the Special Criminal Court, which is tasked with investigating and prosecuting serious violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law committed in CAR since 2003. In light of the increased violence, it is important to underscore that this includes ongoing serious violations or abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law.
The Independent Expert noted that the increased violence has occurred alongside an increase in sexual violence committed by armed groups. We also note her reporting that measures implemented by the UN to address sexual exploitation and abuse by international forces appear to have had a positive impact. The United States continues to urge the UN and troop contributing countries to the UN peacekeeping force to fully investigate all such cases and hold perpetrators accountable.
A question for the Independent Expert: what areas should the international community prioritize when working to improve the justice sector?