US mulls sanctions to stop violence in CAR

Washington, Jan 28: The US is deeply concerned over renewed violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) and is weighing “targeted” sanctions against those responsible for fueling conflict, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.

“The United States is prepared to consider targeted sanctions against those who further destabilise the situation in the CAR, or pursue their own selfish ends by abetting or encouraging the violence,” Xinhua quoted Kerry as saying in a statement.

The US will continue to work with its international partners to hold accountable those responsible for atrocities committed in the CAR, said Kerry, adding that the US is “deeply disturbed” by reports that some CAR leaders may be supporting violence.

“We urge CAR’s past and present political leaders… to call on their supporters to cease any and all attacks on civilians,” Kerry said, who also called on neighbouring countries to ensure that no arms or other support to armed groups are allowed to cross into the CAR.

The US condemns attacks by both anti-Balaka and Seleka groups in the CAR capital Bangui and the provinces, said Kerry, following a fresh wave of violence in the strife-torn country.

The selection of a transitional government offers the people of CAR an opportunity to “rebuild their society and restore their tradition of tolerance”, Kerry added.

Catherine Samba-Panza, the former mayor of Bangui, was elected a week ago as the transitional president of the CAR.

The former transitional president Michel Djotodia and prime minister Nicolas Tiangaye stepped down in early January following months of violence that killed more than 3,000 people.