Central African Republic's cycle of violence needs to end, U.S. says

Jan. 29, 2014 at 9:21 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said justice may be the best way to end the cycle of violence in the Central African Republic.

Power said the United States voted in favor of a U.N. Security Council resolution that creates a more robust mandate for the U.N. Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the CAR, a country struggling to establish a sense of national security in the wake of a March coup led by the Seleka rebel coalition.

Power said the resolution creates a framework to impose sanctions on those suspected of committing atrocities during the conflict.

"To break the cycle of violent retribution underway, the people of CAR ... need to see that political spoilers and instigators of atrocities will be held to account," she said in a statement Tuesday.

Conflict in the Central African Republic took on a religious tone when the anti-Balaka militia, a Christian group, took up arms against their Sunni Muslim rivals from Seleka.

The European Union said it appointed French Maj. Gen. Philippe Ponties to serve as operation commander for an EU military force in CAR, which was authorized to use force under the terms of the Security Council resolution.

"The force would support [for the next six months] international efforts to protect the populations most at risk and the free movement of civilians," the EU said Tuesday.

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