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Human Rights Council – 32nd Session (13 June – 1 July 2016) Interactive Dialogue on the Central African Republic

28 June 2016

Ireland aligns itself with the statement of the European Union and adds the following.

Mr. President,

Ireland welcomes the peaceful manner in which the Central African Republic’s presidential elections took place earlier this year and is encouraged by the priorities noted by President Touadéra in his investiture speech.

The end of the country’s transition period and beginning of the 6th republic provide a welcome opportunity for the Central African Republic to achieve greater stability and reconciliation.

However, Ireland remains gravely concerned by the human rights situation in the Central African Republic. The current security situation remains precarious and the continued threat posed by armed groups is alarming. We deplore the persistent violence perpetrated against civilians and continued abuses of human rights, such as acts of sexual and gender-based violence, including abuses allegedly committed by international forces present in the Central African Republic.

Ireland urges the Government of the Central African Republic to facilitate the establishment of an independent Human Rights Commission, which must strive to promote and protect human rights in a comprehensive manner, as well as actively engage with the relevant nongovernmental and civil society organisations in the country in order to protect the most vulnerable members of society.

Ireland welcomes the progress made towards the establishment of a Special Criminal Court dedicated to bringing to justice those guilty of perpetrating human rights abuses and violating international law during the period of severe instability. In order to foster reconciliation and redress the legacy of human rights abuses, we encourage the authorities in the Central African Republic to expedite the remaining actions required for this Court to become functional.

With a view to addressing injustices and promoting accountability, Ireland further calls for the effective implementation of the Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission tasked with identifying and investigating crimes and abuses committed in the country and recommending that perpetrators be brought to justice.

Finally, Ireland urges the Government of the Central African Republic to protect and support those who have been displaced by the conflict, and ensure the safety and security of those delivering essential humanitarian assistance.

We would be grateful if, following her visit to Bangui last week, the Independent Expert could elaborate on the progress made in relation to the establishment of the Special Criminal Court.

Thank you.