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CAR urgent test for UN, Security Council told

Posted on Feb 15 2014 | IANS

United Nations, Feb 15 : UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for solidarity and concerted action by the UN and regional organizations to help the people of the strife-torn Central African Republic (CAR), warning that "dark clouds of mass atrocities" are looming over the nation.

"The United Nations and its regional partners face an urgent test," Ban said Friday, referring to the situation in CAR in his remarks to the Security Council's meeting on cooperation between the UN and regional organisations.

"The dark clouds of mass atrocities and sectarian cleansing loom over the Central African Republic," he added.

"Public lynchings, mutilations, and other horrendous acts of violence are spreading mayhem and fear. All Central Africans have been victims, Muslims and Christians alike."

Ban said that peace, security, human rights, development -- everything the UN stands for and seeks to promote -- are under assault.

"We must live up to the promises made around this table to act swiftly and robustly in the face of such bloodshed. We cannot claim to care about mass atrocity crimes and then shrink from what it means to actually prevent them," he said.

Ban commended the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the African Union (AU) for their intensive efforts to address the crisis and for the establishment of the African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA).

He also thanked the France government for deploying its forces, and said he looked forward to the forthcoming military contributions by the European Union (EU), to be coordinated with the MISCA operation.

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