Army troops in the Central African Republic killed up to 30 civilians in February in the Ndele region, a BBC investigation has found. Witnesses say the government soldiers shot dead 21 people in the village of Sokumba, about 70km (44 miles) from the border with Chad. Other human rights abuses committed by both the national army and rebels have been reported in the area. The CAR military declined to respond to the allegations.

carFour months after a peace deal was signed by various rebel groups, the country is facing renewed fighting in the north. In Sokumba, a group of women were preparing for a funeral ceremony when soldiers – believed to be part of the elite presidential guard – arrived in the village and told all the men to gather under a mango tree.

Witnesses say soldiers accused them of supporting the rebels and killed them all after first shooting the chief of the village. Diplomatic sources say empty shell cases and blood-stained clothes were found at the scene a week after the killing. Between seven and nine other people are reported to have been killed by government soldiers in nearby villages.

The head of the human rights section in Bangui, the capital of the CAR, Renner Onana, says that human rights abuses have been committed by both the army and the rebels operating in the area. Declining an interview to respond to the allegations, the Central African army chief of staff, General Francois Mobebou, refused to give any further comment. Sporadic fighting broke out in January between government troops and a rebel group that calls itself the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace.

However, little is known about their aims and their chain of command is not very clear. Thousands of people have since fled the violence and have crossed into Chad.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: