The people of the C.A.R. must seize the opportunity afforded by the newly appointed transitional leadership and a strong level of international concern and support to end the crisis and move forward.
Recent shocking displays of violence in the Central African Republic have renewed fears of the political and humanitarian crisis there spiraling tragically out of control.
On February 5, a group of soldiers lynched a man they suspected of being a member of the rebel militia that overthrew the former president last year; just minutes after the nation’s new president addressed them pledging to restore security. Two days later, a mob attacked and killed a Muslim man who was part of a large convoy of Muslims who were trying to flee unrest in the capital, Bangui.
The violence has not been confined to the capital, with clashes in the town of Boda reportedly leaving more than 75 dead, and Christians forced to flee the town of Bocaranga after being fired on by mostly-Muslim former militia members.
The United States continues to be deeply concerned by the crisis and the violence’s increasingly sectarian nature. Nothing can be gained by this decimation. It has ravaged homes and communities, ruined the economy, and set neighbor against neighbor in ways that may be impossible to fully put right. It must end.
The people of the C.A.R. must seize the opportunity afforded by the newly appointed transitional leadership and a strong level of international concern and support to end the crisis and move forward. They will not be successful unless all groups look to the future, not the past, and break the cycle of violent retribution.
The United States, is providing up to $100 million to support the African Union-led International Support Mission with CAR and an additional $45 million toward humanitarian assistance. We stand by the new transitional government and its efforts to end the conflict and rebuild a functioning state that serves all of its people. We call on all parties there to join in this effort.