UN official denies CAR in ‘pre-genocide’ state

The Central African Republic (CAR) is not in a “pre-genocide” state despite its problems, a United Nations expert said Wednesday, touching on comments by a former UN official that have sparked a storm.

CAR “is not in a pre-genocide situation,” Adama Dieng, the UN’s special advisor for the prevention of genocide, said.

Genocide “is a long process,” he explained.

In August, the UN’s then-aid chief, Stephen O’Brien, said he was deeply worried about the mounting violence in CAR.

He said he saw “the early warning signs of genocide” and urged more troops and police to bolster the UN peacekeeping mission there.

That assertion was strongly contested by CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

He said the fighting stemmed especially from competition for minerals and other natural resources by armed groups, rather than a “programme” by one group to exterminate the other.

Dieng, who arrived for a fact-finding visit on October 6, cautioned that the situation in CAR is “serious.”

There are still “indicators… that could result… in crimes of genocide” if they are not tackled, he warned.

These include major abuses against civilian populations for their ethnic or religious affiliation, the proliferation of armed groups and the weakness of the state, he explained… Read more

Originally published by The Citizen

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