UN recommends targeted sanctions in Central Africa

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon recommended to the Security Council Friday that sanctions be taken against elements of the Seleka coalition responsible for reprisal attacks in the Central African Republic.

In a report that the Council is supposed take up on Wednesday, Ban said he was deeply concerned by "a total breakdown of law and order" since the rebel coalition took power in March.

"This is unacceptable. The plight of the people of the CAR must be brought to an end," he said.

"I call on the Security Council to consider appropriate options, including the adoption of sanctions or the establishment of a panel of experts, to ensure there is no impunity for perpetrators of gross human rights violations," he said.

Ban said the restoration of peace and security in Bangui was a priority that required the urgent attention of the international community.

The report said there had been an increasing number of abuses and incidents this year attributable to out of control Seleka elements.

"They included arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks, committed by uncontrolled Seleka elements and unidentified armed groups throughout the country," it said.

The situation is particularly chaotic in the countryside where Seleka elements continued to wreak havoc."

Ban noted the growing divisions within the Seleka and persistent mistrust between Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye and the country's new strong man, Michel Djotodja.

He recommended that the Security Council fully support a new international support mission to Central Africa, AFIS, a 3,600 member force under the aegis of the African Union charged with helping the government secure its territory.

AFIS took over from the Central Africa Multinational Force this month.