New York

07 June 2016

Note to Correspondents on Human Rights Watch report

The Secretary-General takes note of today’s release of Human Rights Watch's (HRW) report on the Central African Republic (CAR).

The Secretary-General shares Human Rights Watch’s concerns regarding impunity for human rights violations. In the case of the allegations against troops by the Republic of Congo (RoC) in CAR, the Secretary-General expects that the Republic of Congo will ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are held fully accountable.

Since the allegations first came to light in 2014, the United Nations has been actively engaged, at various levels, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Departments of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Field Support (DFS), with the African Union and the Republic of Congo authorities on this issue through a variety of formal and informal channels. The Security Council was also informed through the Secretary-General’s report of the International Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic (December 2014).

The Secretary-General and the United Nations will continue to follow up on these cases, as it has been doing over the course of the last two years.

Below, is the summary of the actions taken by the UN concerning the events described in the report, which took place from the 2013 to 2015.

On Boali: The reported disappearance of 11 people in March 2014 in Boali (CAR) while in the custody of ROC peacekeepers serving under the African Union Mission in Central African Republic (MISCA) was investigated by UN’s Human Rights staff in CAR who conducted three investigation missions to ascertain the facts, the first one in July 2014. The results of the UN human rights investigations were provided to the host authorities and later to the Security Council through the International Commission of Inquiry's report. The implicated RoC unit was repatriated before the transfer of authority to the United Nations and was not "re-hatted" when the mission became a UN peacekeeping operation in September 2014. The United Nations was not informed of the exhumation of the mass grave in February 2016 which followed a decree by the Boali Prefetand was conducted by an INGO. The protection of this burial site is a national responsibility and the Mission provided all information it had gathered during its investigations to the CAR authorities.

On Mambere: The reported killing of two individuals in June 2015 in Mambere (CAR) by Republic of Congo peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) was investigated promptly by MINUSCA. MINUSCA publically reported the facts on 10 June 2015 in a press release. Twenty contingent members of the RoC, including two commanding officers, were repatriated on disciplinary grounds and banned from future service with UN peace operations. An HQ-led Board of Inquiry was convened by tDFS in April 2016 and its findings will be made public soon.

In May 2016, the United Nations received preliminary information from the RoC authorities on various investigative and judicial processes that are underway as well as interim disciplinary measures that have been imposed on individuals and commanders implicated in these incidents. In a note verbale dated 12 May 2016 the Republic of Congo expressed "profound regret" and pledged to ensure that justice will be done. The United Nations continues to follow up actively on the outcome of these processes.