CAR armed groups still committing ‘war crimes’

Armed groups continue to commit war crimes in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to a report released July 5 by Human Rights Watch (HRW) detailing violence in three central provinces between November 2014 and April 2017. During that time period, HRW documented at least 566 civilian deaths at the hands of the Seleka and Anti-Balaka groups. Armed groups also destroyed no fewer than 4,207 homes, forcing people to flee and causing the deaths of 144 children and elderly people. Those responsible for the deaths have not been “detained, arrested or otherwise held accountable,” and are still free to roam the areas where their crimes occurred. In addition to seeking international support for improved civilian protection, the report also asks the UN and other individual governments to back the Special Criminal Court (SCC) financially and politically. Although President Faustin-Archange Touadéra has praised the SCC, the government has “lagged in steps to operationalize” it. The SCC, an institution within the CAR’s justice system with international judges and prosecutors, has the “unique chance to hold accountable the perpetrators of these grave crimes.”

From Jurist, July 5. Used with permission.

  1. CAR sentences militiamen for crimes against humanity

    The Bangui Court of Appeal in the Central African Republic on Feb. 7 sentenced 28 ex-militiamen to prison for a massacre committed in Bangassou and other areas of the country’s southeast in May 2017. The victims in the massacre included dozens of Muslims and 10 UN Peacekeepers. The militia that committed the killings is the majority-Christian Anti-Balaka militia. The prison sentences ranged from 10-15 years to life sentences, including forced labor. (Jurist)