The 49th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
28 February to 1 April 2022
Statement of Meezan Centre for Human Rights
Agenda Item 10: Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic
30 March 2022
Delivered by Lola Stirling
Thank you President.
We welcome the news of UN Independent Expert Yao Agbetse’s visit to the Central African Republic and hope that findings from the visit will be used to take necessary steps to ensure long lasting peace in the country. We commend the news that the long awaited local elections will be held in September. These elections must remain peaceful, transparent and inclusive, free from disinformation and manipulation.
Despite the unilateral ceasefire announced by President Touadéra last October, we would like to express our concerns regarding the continuing human rights abuses committed against civilians. Effective measures must be taken to stop these violations. Furthermore, the remaining landmines pose an additional threat to the population and there must be support from all sides regarding demining efforts.
Additionally we would like to highlight the disproportionate impact of conflict on women and girls. At the moment, women and children make up over half of the world’s conflict related refugee population, they are exposed to staggering rates of sexual violence and abuse. The Central African Republic has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, using girls as a weapon of violence and limiting their futures. Impunity in the Central African Republic remains high, and the scope of sexual violence violations is likely much worse than we know.
Meezaan and Geneva International centre for justice call for perpetrators of violence and violations to be held to account. We urge all parties to respect the ceasefire and utilise mechanisms to provide a peaceful and prosperous future for all the citizens of the Central African Republic.