Statement : | ,

Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, ahead of elections in the Central African Republic: “The peaceful course of elections in the Central African Republic is essential to prevent cycles of violence.”

On 27 December 2020, the people of the Central African Republic ("CAR") will elect their President and their representatives at the National Assembly.

In the course of the investigations my Office has been conducting since 2014, I have witnessed first-hand the Central African people's committed efforts in the pursuit of sustainable peace in the country, including during my most recent visit to Bangui. I have been closely following developments in the country, and I am troubled by public reports and information about increased tensions and the potential of escalating violence ahead of the upcoming elections.

I call for calm and restraint from all parties, armed groups, political actors and their supporters, and others.

The peaceful course of elections in the Central African Republic is essential to prevent cycles of violence.

In this respect, I wish to repeat previous statements I have made to stress that anyone who commits, orders, incites, encourages or contributes, in any other way, to the commission of crimes under the Rome Statute, is liable to prosecution either before the courts  in CAR or the International Criminal Court.

My Office continues its investigations into the situation in CAR and remains committed to the pursuit of justice for all the victims of atrocity crimes in the country, and to hold to account those responsible, irrespective of which side of the conflict they may be on.

The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC's jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d'Ivoire; Mali; Georgia, Burundi Bangladesh/Myanmar and Afghanistan (subject to a pending article 18 deferral request). The Office is also currently conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Bolivia; Colombia; Guinea; the Philippines; and Venezuela (I and II), while the situation in Palestine is pending a judicial ruling.

For further details on "preliminary examinations" and "situations and cases" before the Court, click here, and here.

Source : Office of the Prosecutor