Central African Republic: UN report confirms need for justice to end cycle of impunity
In response to the launch today in Bangui of an extensive report mapping 620 incidents involving serious human rights violations and abuses, as well as crimes under international law committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) between 2003 and 2015, Erica Bussey, Amnesty International’s Senior Legal Advisor said:
“This report provides a systematic and comprehensive account of hundreds of horrendous human rights violations and abuses committed over 12 years, and clearly demonstrates the need for accountability to ensure justice and peace in the country.”
“This report will be of critical importance to the newly-appointed Special Prosecutor of the Special Criminal Court, particularly in determining a prosecutorial strategy, given the vast scale of the crimes committed and the need to prioritize amongst them.”
“The report comes at an important point in the fight against impunity. Several important steps have recently been taken to establish the Special Criminal Court and nominate magistrates, and this report should help advance efforts to ensure justice for victims of the conflict.”
The report, issued by the UN Office of Human Rights and MINUSCA, documents patterns of serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by successive government forces, local and foreign armed groups, as well as international and foreign defense forces.
Violations include the burning of entire villages, rapes, extra-judicial killings, torture, violence against people based on their religion or ethnicity, the recruitment of children by armed groups, attacks on humanitarian actors and more.
It relies in large part on already existing reports documenting human rights violations and abuses in CAR during this period, including those of Amnesty International.
The launch of the report will be followed by a two-day conference on transitional justice in CAR, in which the Special Prosecutor and newly named magistrates, as well as Amnesty International and members of CAR civil society, will participate.
Amnesty International has launched a campaign with CAR civil society organizations highlighting the need for justice in the country.