AfricaCentral African Republic (CAR)

Crimes: ICC vows to pursue justice for victims in Central Africa

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The International Criminal Court ICC has vowed to relentlessly pursue justice for the victims of atrocity crimes, while called to an end the cycle of violence in Central Africa Republic (CAR).

In a statement released from the office of ICC Persecutor, Fatou Bensouda on Monday, she welcomed the transfer of suspect, Mr Mahamat Saïd Abdel Kani (”Mr Saïd”) to ICC to face justice for his alleged crimes.

She said “Mr Said is the third suspect arrested in the context of my Office’s ongoing investigations in the Central African Republic (CAR), and the first person to be arrested from the Séléka side to the conflict.

“Evidence collected in the course of my Office’s independent and impartial investigations, the prosecution alleges that Mr Saïd  is criminally responsible for several counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in CAR between April and November 2013”, she said.

She stated that during her term as Prosecutor. Investigations are, by definition, quiet, confidential processes. “But my Office has been hard at work all along, unflinching in its drive to do what it can, in a balanced and committed manner, to bring the perpetrators to justice, notwithstanding the challenges.

“I am grateful to all who made this successful operation possible. To be sure, this development is an important step in the fulfilment of our mandate. We will continue to exert all efforts to hold to account those responsible for atrocity crimes in CAR”, she said.

She reiterated that her Office’s investigations are ongoing and will continue to closely follow events on the ground in CAR. “I remain very concerned about the security situation and reports of serious violence and crimes committed against civilians, as well as international peacekeepers.

“In this respect, I stress once again that anyone who commits crimes –  be it murder, pillage, rape, or other crimes under the jurisdiction of the Court is liable to prosecution. We look forward to our continued engagement and collaboration with the Central African Republic to advance accountability for atrocity crimes in the country”, she said.

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