(New York) – On the second anniversary of a rebellion that plunged the Central African Republic into bloody upheaval, Human Rights Watch today released a multimedia feature on several research missions undertaken in the Central African Republic in 2014.
With video and text on “The Fighters,” “Life in the Bush,” “Caught in the Crossfire,” “Children of War,” “Bangui’s Inferno,” “Neighborhood Destroyed,” “The Heroes,” and “Exodus,” the feature offers an overview of human rights violations uncovered by one of Human Rights Watch’s researchers, Peter Bouckaert, working with the photographer Marcus Bleasdale.
The Central African Republic has been in acute crisis since early 2013, when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power in a campaign characterized by widespread killing of civilians, burning and looting of homes, and other serious crimes. In mid-2013, groups calling themselves the anti-balaka organized to fight against the Seleka. The anti-balaka began committing large-scale reprisal attacks against Muslim civilians in Bangui and western parts of the country. Thousands died and hundreds of thousands were displaced by the conflict.
United Nations peacekeepers are trying to enforce a shaky ceasefire, but many displaced people still fear violence and are unable to return to their homes.
“Peace is fragile in the Central African Republic today,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. “The story of how the country unraveled remains critically important as the international community struggles to respond appropriately.”