13 photos that tell the story of the Central African Republic's civil war

13 photos that tell the story of the Central African Republic's civil war

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For the past ten months, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been host to one of the world's most brutal conflicts, which has left uncounted civilians dead and over a quarter of the country's population displaced.On July 23rd, representatives from the two main rebel groups in the conflict signed a ceasefire agreement, which may be a sign that the war is drawing to a close. However, some observers have raised concerns that the peace process could actually prove to be counterproductive, if it entrenches the impunity that has empowered the rebels in the first place.In a series of photos posted to Twitter, Human Rights Watch researcher Lewis Mudge explains why that impunity has been so dangerous. His photo timeline of the conflict shows the cycles of brutal violence and more-brutal reprisals, as armed groups grow in power, unchecked by anything but more violence from their opponents. With each new round of violence and reprisal, civilians have paid a terrible price. At each stage, Mudge points out, the combatants were enabled by impunity for their crimes. Before the war broke out, CAR was controlled by the brutal regime of President Francois Bozize, who took power in a 2003 military coup and held on to it with the aid of torture and other crimes used to terrorize his own people. The photos in particular show a torture facility sometimes known as Bozize's Guantanamo, and the awful methods used there:

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