The Central African Republic rang in 53 years of independence on Tuesday, several days after United Nations’ chief Ban Ki-moon announced a “total breakdown of law and order” across the nation.
"This is unacceptable,” said Ban, referring to the decline sparked in March when rebels seized power. “The plight of the people of the CAR must be brought to an end.”
Considered one of the world’s least developed countries, CAR has remained unstable since its independence from France in 1960. From 2008 through 2012, progress had been made towards stabilizing C.A.R., but the ousting of President Francois Bozize in March 2013 by the Seleka rebel alliance eliminated any efforts made.
Ban implored the U.N. Security Council to consider sanctions or create a panel of experts to monitor the disturbing situation, according to AFP.
He also reported that inner conflicts among rebel groups had led to extensive cruelties, including arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killing and recruitment of child soldiers.
The country’s health care system has crumbled, malnutrition and malaria cases have substantially multiplied and most aid agencies have withdrawn to the capital, citing a lack of security, said Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Despite possessing ample natural resources, the country’s economy — primarily timber and diamond-based — has been heavily damaged by corruption as a result of decades of coups and a brutal regime headed by Bedel Bokassa from 1966 to 1979.
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(Photo: REUTERS/Luc Gnago)