UNITED NATIONS : The UN Security Council ordered sanctions against three Central African Republic leaders, including former president Francois Bozize.
The leader of the anti-Balaka militia Levy Yakete and the Seleka militia’s number two Nourredine Adam were also targeted. These targeted sanctions - an asset freeze and a travel ban - were anticipated in a January 28 UN resolution proposed by France and the United States. The decision taken by the Security Council’s Sanctions Committee was delayed for several weeks by Russia and China, who requested time to examine the case before finally giving the green light, diplomats said.
Some 5,000 troops in the African MISCA force along with 2,000 French soldiers under a UN mandate have been deployed to help restore order and security in the country that plunged into chaos following a coup in March 2013.
After the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels were ousted from power in January, Samba Panza was chosen to head a transition government until elections could be held.
But a cycle of revenge attacks between the Muslim ex-rebels and vigilante groups from the Christian majority have led to unabated killings and lootings, and caused a major humanitarian crisis. The Sanctions Committee accused the three men of ‘engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the CAR.’ Bozize, who was overthrown by Seleka rebels in March 2013, ‘provided material and financial support to (anti-Balaka and former army officers) militiamen who are working to destabilize the ongoing transition and bring him back to power,’ it added.
‘Forces loyal to Bozize have become involved in reprisal attacks against CAR’s Muslim population.’ Yakete is accused of having ordered the arrest of people with ties to the Seleka and of having organized the distribution of machetes to young, unemployed Christians to attack Muslims. Adam, who headed the intelligence services under the new regime, is accused of arbitrary arrests, torture and summary executions. He also ‘actively directs ex-Seleka and directs operations against Christian neighborhoods,’ the Sanctions Committee said, adding that he had a part in diamonds trafficking between the CAR and Chad.