Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on opening a new Preliminary Examination in Central African Republic
the past months, I have issued a number of public statements urging all groups
in the Central African Republic (CAR) engaged in the on-going conflict to
immediately cease the violence, and warning them that those alleged to be
committing heinous crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International
Criminal Court (ICC) could be held individually accountable.
plight of civilians in CAR since September 2012 has gone from bad to
worse. My Office has reviewed many reports detailing acts of extreme
brutality by various groups and allegations of serious crimes being committed,
which possibly fall within the ambit of the jurisdiction of the ICC. The
information concerning these alleged crimes and the profound human suffering
they cause is deeply concerning.
allegations include hundreds of killings, acts of rape and sexual slavery,
destruction of property, pillaging, torture, forced displacement and recruitment
and use of children in hostilities. In many incidents, victims appear to
have been deliberately targeted on religious grounds.
my Office’s analysis of the jurisdictional parameters regarding the situation
in CAR since September 2012, I have concluded that these incidents and the
serious allegations of crimes potentially falling within the jurisdiction of
the ICC constitute a new situation, unrelated to the situation previously
referred to the ICC by the CAR authorities in December 2004. I have therefore
decided to open a Preliminary Examination into this new situation.
my Office’s further efforts will be aimed at gathering and analysing all the
information necessary to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to
proceed with an investigation into this new situation. My Office’s efforts will
be coordinated with those of the African Union and the United Nations in CAR.
In conformity with the complementarity principle, my Office will also be
engaging with the CAR authorities with a view to discussing ways and means to
bring perpetrators to account, including at the national level.
is a State Party to the Rome Statute, and as such, the ICC has jurisdiction
over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the
territory or by nationals of CAR since 1 July 2002.
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Source : Office of the Prosecutor