U.S. slaps sanctions on 5 Central African Republic men tied to violence

by Reuters
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 00:17 GMT

Former Seleka soldiers head to a village which residents say was attacked by anti-Balaka militiamen, about 25 kilometres (16 miles) from Bambari May 10, 2014. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

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"Growing attacks ... by both Muslim and Christian militias have brought CAR to a crisis of disastrous proportions" - White House

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By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has imposed sanctions on Central African Republic's former president, François Bozizé, and four other men linked to violence and human rights abuses in the country, the White House said on Tuesday.

The country has been racked by sectarian violence for a year after Seleka rebels, who are mostly Muslim, seized power, and "anti-balaka" militias, mainly Christian, fought back.

Thousands have been killed and about a million people displaced. More than 2.5 million people - half the country's population - need humanitarian aid, the White House said.

"Growing attacks perpetrated by both Muslim and Christian militias have brought CAR to a crisis of disastrous proportions," the White House said in a statement.

The sanctions, which freeze assets and ban travel for the individuals named, followed U.N. Security Council sanctions on Friday on Bozizé, who is an "anti-balaka" supporter, Nourredine Adam, a Seleka general and a former minister of public security, and Levy Yakete, an "anti-balaka" leader.

Washington also imposed sanctions on Michel Djotodia, former transitional president of the Central African Republic and leader of the Seleka rebellion, and Abdoulaye Miskine, leader of an ex-Seleka rebel group called the Democratic Front of the Central African Republic People, the White House said. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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