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LRA, Seleka top U.N. concerns in CAR

Aug. 15, 2013 at 1:24 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Conditions in the Central African Republic are deteriorating significantly as rebel forces persist in their activity, the U.N. Security Council said.

The Security Council issued a statement expressing its "grave concern" about the situation in CAR.

The rebel Seleka coalition toppled the government in March and the Security Council said it was disturbed by reports of "arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, extrajudicial killings, recruitment and use of children and attacks against civilians."

U.N. staff members were attacked recently in CAR and the International Criminal Court said it was examining allegations of abuses there.

The Security Council said the situation is compounded by an increase in activity of the Lord's Resistance Army. More than 70 U.S. lawmakers last week said the threat from LRA and its leader, Joseph Kony, was being overlooked.

The council statement Wednesday said CAR authorities are responsible for civilian protection but stressed the need for an international role.

"[Members] urged the international community to respond to the United Nations' humanitarian appeals, to meet the needs of the people of the Central African Republic," the statement said.

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