No safety for people with disabilities in CAR, HRW warns
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMay 01, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
May 01, 2015 12:00 am
The U.K. based human rights organization, Human Rights Watch (HRW), underscored the appalling humanitarian situation of people with disabilities in the Central African Republic (CAR), who were left behind during the brutal attacks by armed groups. The international human rights body has paid particular attention to the needs of people with disabilities, and reports abuses against them.
"One of the untold stories of the recent conflict in the Central African Republic is the isolation, abandonment, and neglect of people with disabilities," said Kriti Sharma, disability rights researcher at HRW. "The Security Council's action will help ensure greater visibility of the needs of people with disabilities." At least 96 people with disabilities were abandoned and 11 were killed during heavy clashes between militia groups in the enclave of Bangui, Boyali, Yaloké, and Bossemptélé. There are many ethnic Peuhl herders who are trapped in Yaloke, Carnot and Boda, where they arrived when fleeing attacks by the largely Christian anti-Balaka militia in late 2013 and early 2014. Due to brutal attacks by Christian and animist anti-Balaka militias on Muslims in late 2013 and early 2014, many Muslims want to flee the country. As sectarian violence increases, many Muslims' lives have been threatened by anti-Balaka fighters as no international organization provides them with full protection and security. In the Yaloké enclave where 509 ethnic Peuhl Muslims are housed in government buildings in the town center in deplorable conditions, the U.N. peacekeepers have repeatedly used force to stop Muslims from leaving, the HRW reported in December 2014. "Using force to keep threatened Muslims in the Yaloké enclave from fleeing to safety is contrary to everything the U.N. stands for," Mudge said. "U.N. peacekeepers shouldn't play any part in a government policy that violates the rights of Muslims to seek safety and condemns them to deadly conditions in the enclaves," he stated, stressing the collaboration between the U.N peacekeepers and the transitional government of CAR. Since the transitional government's decision to halt evacuations of Muslims, U.N. officials and African Union (AU) officials have stopped organizing the evacuation of Muslims. HRW reports that an AU official "openly threaten[ed] Peuhl [Muslims], vowing to shoot anyone who tried to board a convoy."