HRW finds signs of Seleka massacre in CAR

March 11, 2014 at 1:34 PM

BANGUI, Central African Republic, March 11 (UPI) -- Members of the Seleka rebel group in the Central African Republic left mostly children wounded in the wake of a recent attack, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at the international human rights organization, said the Seleka movement, a Muslim rebel coalition, left eight people dead and at least 10 others, mostly young children, injured in a late February raid in Bossangoa, a district in eastern CAR.

"The brutality of the Seleka fighters remains undiminished," he said in a statement Tuesday. "Most of the dead and wounded from [the area] were women and children fleeing in terror."

Seleka overthrew the CAR government last year and installed leader Michel Djotodia as the nation's president. He quickly lost control over the group and the conflict has since approached the verge of civil war as the Christian anti-balaka group takes up arms against their Muslim rivals.

Bernard Acho Muna, chairman of the U.N.-backed International Commission of Inquiry for CAR, lead a team to the country this week to investigate reports the situation there was on the verge of genocide.

Muna, a former prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, said he was wary of the reports of mounting hate speech from both sides of the conflict.

"I think it is in our mandate to see how we can stop any advances towards genocide," he said in a statement Monday.

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