Genocide talk 'not justified'
GENEVA - The president of the Central African Republic pushed back on Wednesday against the UN warnings of looming genocide in his country, saying the complex crisis could not be reduced to religious and ethnic strife.
"We think that to talk about genocide at this stage is going too far... it is not justified," President Faustin-Archange Touadera told reporters in Geneva after addressing the Human Rights Council.
He was asked about comments from the recently departed United Nations humanitarian chief, Stephen O'Brien, who said renewed clashes in the country had "the early warnings signs of genocide".
Touadera countered that the factors fuelling the violence varied significantly in different places, with cases where people were fighting members of their own ethnic group or even their own family.
The conflict is partly driven by competition for land and resources like diamonds and timber, among other factors, the president said.
PUSHED BACK: Central African Republic President FaustinArchange Touadera.