Dakar — Armed groups in Central African Republic (CAR) are using rape and sexual slavery as weapons of war, in abuse that may amount to crimes against humanity, a rights group said on Thursday. Thousands have died and a fifth of Central Africans have been uprooted in a conflict that broke out after the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in early 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias. Both the Seleka and the anti-balaka have sexually assaulted, raped and enslaved civilians as revenge against those believed to be supporting the other side, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said. Yet not a single militant on either side of the conflict has been arrested or tried for sexual violence, HRW said. "Armed groups are using rape in a brutal, calculated way to punish and terrorise women and girls," HRW researcher Hillary Margolis said, following the release of a report documenting 305 cases of rape and sexual slavery against women and girls. "Under inte...

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