Central African Republic: Sexual Violence as Weapon of War
Widespread Rape, Sexual Slavery by Armed Groups
Thursday 05 October 2017
(New York, October 4, 2017) – Armed groups in the Central African Republic have used rape and sexual slavery as a tactic of war across the country during nearly five years of conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Commanders have tolerated widespread sexual violence by their forces and, in some cases, appear to have ordered it or committed it themselves.
The 176-page report, “‘They Said We Are Their Slaves,’ Sexual Violence by Armed Groups in the Central African Republic,” documents 312 cases of rape and sexual slavery carried out against 301 women and girls by members of armed groups between early 2013 and mid-2017. The predominantly Muslim Seleka and the largely Christian and animist militia known as “anti-balaka,” two main parties to the conflict, have used sexual violence as revenge for perceived support of those on the other side of the sectarian divide.