Human Rights Voices

While the UN devotes its human rights operations to the demonization of the democratic state of Israel above all others and condemns the United States more often than the vast majority of non-democracies around the world, the voices of real victims around the world must be heard.

Chad, February 20, 2014

Witnesses: Chadian troops kill civilians

Original source

BANGUI, Central African Republic - Chadian peacekeepers have killed at least 12 unarmed people in two days in the Central African Republic after fatally shooting six civilians yesterday in the capital, witnesses said.

The latest shootings occurred as the soldiers were escorting Chadian refugees to a military base near Bangui's M'poko airport, where more than 400,000 people have taken refuge from the Central African Republic's conflict.

The troops randomly shot at the civilians without provocation, according to witnesses. The violence caused scores of people to flee the refugee camp, they said.

On Tuesday, Chadian soldiers reportedly killed two civilians in Bangui and four civilians in the town of Damara, about 45 miles north of the capital.

The shootings were reported two weeks after Human Rights Watch accused Chadian peacekeepers of helping Muslim fighters in the Central African Republic, including escorting Muslim Seleka rebels from bases at which they were confined by African Union peacekeepers to areas where they committed atrocities against Christians.

"If the African Union is truly going to protect civilians in the Central African Republic, it needs to rein in the rogue activities of the Chadian peacekeeping troops," said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director at Human Rights Watch.

The Chadian troops are in the neighboring Central African Republic as part of an African Union-led peacekeeping force established by the United Nations in December to help disarm fighters involved in the conflict there between Christian militiamen and the Muslim Seleka. In a separate incident yesterday, members of the Christian vigilante group anti-Balaka attacked peacekeepers stationed in Bangui, demanding the release of several of their arrested leaders.

The violence has killed thousands and displaced about 1 million people.