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United Nations says abuses in Central African Republic rampant

GENEVA, Switzerland, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Torture and other forms of human rights abuses are widespread and the rule is law is nearly absent in the Central African Republic, U.N. rights leaders said.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said CAR was descending into a state of lawlessness because the ongoing conflict there has long been forgotten by the global community. The rebel Seleka coalition toppled the government early this year. It's suspected of committing war crimes.

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Christof Heyns, a U.N. special envoy for summary executions, said there were at least 46 cases of retaliatory killings by the Seleka coalition so far this year. U.N. special envoy on torture Juan Mendez said human rights abuses are "widespread" in CAR, adding at least 25 people reportedly died as a result of torture by Seleka.

The United Nations last week warned CAR was on the verge of collapse. The British government said the entire CAR population of 4.6 million people is in need of some form of humanitarian aid.

"We are seriously concerned over reported acts of killings, torture, arbitrary detention, gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, 'mob justice' and the pervasive climate of insecurity, and the absence of the rule of law which have prevailed in the country in the last five months," the U.N. experts said Monday in a joint statement.

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