Central African Republic may be failing

Dec. 20, 2012 at 10:08 AM
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BANGUI, Central African Republic, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The number of parties to recent conflicts in the Central African Republic has made humanitarian missions there "very complex," the ICRC said.

The U.N. Security Council this week said there is evidence the CAR government is under threat from armed groups who've taken control of several cities in the republic, which has lead to mass internal displacement.

Georgios Georgantas, the lead officer for the International Committee of the Red Cross in CAR, said the rights of non-combatants must be respected during the fighting.

"The situation is made very complex by the number of parties involved and the population movements that the fighting and the fear of violence have unleashed," he said in a statement. "Whatever happens, it is essential that the parties respect and protect the residents of areas where there is violence and tension."

The Security Council said a 2008 peace deal has kept conflict in check. Ethnic tensions in north CAR, coupled with the presence of the rebel Lord's Resistance Army from neighboring Uganda, are cause for renewed concerns.

"The members of the Security Council demanded that the armed groups immediately cease hostilities, withdraw from captured cities (and) cease any further advance towards the (capital) city of Bangui," a council statement read.

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