U.N. says crimes committed in CAR

April 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 30 (UPI) -- Accounts of torture and the recruitment of child soldiers have surfaced in the Central African Republic since a rebel takeover, a U.N. rights official said.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said there are at least 173,000 people in CAR displaced internally by conflict. Another 50,000 have fled to Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Cameroon.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said from Geneva the situation in CAR was worse now than when it was when the Seleka rebel coalition launched their anti-government offensive in December.

"In the wake of the offensive, targeted killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, torture and recruitment of children have been widely reported. Rape, disappearances, kidnappings, as well as extortion and looting in Bangui and other parts of the country are also being reported," he said in a statement.

Seleka seized the capital and installed its own leaders. It said it would allow for elections in three years, however.

The U.N. Security Council said any group responsible for violations of international and human rights laws in CAR would face justice. Similar statements were issued in April by the International Criminal Court.

The Security Council called on Seleka to abstain from violence.

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