The OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) has followed with profound concern the tragic development in the human rights situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), and strongly condemns the recent escalation of violence culminating into the reported mass murder of innocent civilians along sectarian line, increasingly taking place in the country.
The Commission, in particular, expresses its grave concern over the reported acts of unwarranted retaliation by the "Anti-Balaka" militia against innocent Muslim communities in Bangui and other localities. These acts of gross human rights violations include summary execution and attacks on innocent civilians, including women and children, torture, ill-treatment, mutilation of dead bodies, enforced disappearance, sexual violence, widespread looting of private and public property, as well as desecration of places of worship. These abuses and atrocities, have sadly not only increased the massive displacement of persons, mainly Muslims - internally and across the borders - but also significantly aggravated the dire humanitarian crisis in CAR.
The Commission reiterates that sanctity of life is highly revered in all religions and cultures, and calls upon the competent authorities in CAR to ensure that no one shall be deprived of his/her right to life and security of his/her person, which is a primary responsibility of every State. Accordingly, IPHRC further urges all parties involved in the conflict to put an immediate end to the violence and bloodshed, and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to areas where it is most needed.
The Commission welcomes the settlement agreement reached on a Friday 10 January 2014, in the Chadian capital, N'djamena, between the parties to the conflict in the CAR, under the auspices of the Economic Community of the Central African States (ECCAS), and urges all parties to abide by their commitments in the agreement, which would enable the country and the region as a whole return to peace, security and stability.
The OIC Commission would continue to monitor the human rights situation in CAR, and appeals to the Interim President of the country, the United Nations, African Union, ECCAS and all relevant stakeholders to act quickly in bringing to an end the on-going violence.