The United States remains deeply concerned by the human rights situation in the Central African Republic and appreciates the Africa Group’s efforts to address the situation in the Human Rights Council. We are pleased to join consensus on this resolution.
We appreciate the resolution’s reference to the decision of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to send a fact-finding mission and hope it is dispatched on an urgent basis. Additionally, we look forward to the interim report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 24th Session in September and the final report at the 25th session in March. We also encourage the transitional authorities to develop a mechanism to document, monitor, and investigate human rights violations. We support the resolution’s call for the transitional authorities to protect freedom of expression, as well as to ensure that women are given the opportunity to participate in the election and reconciliation processes on par with their male counterparts.
Additionally, the United States would like to note its understanding regarding a few points. We take issue with the reference to looting as a human rights violation. Looting, instead, is a violation of the laws of armed conflict, a body of law that does not apply to the situation in the CAR. Similarly, it would have been preferable to clarify that the transitional authorities need to take steps to counter unlawful acts of violence, in order to avoid impugning the legitimacy of self-defense or other lawful violence.