Information for victims

Information for victims

Updated on 08/03/2021

On 16 February 2021, trial proceedings commenced in the case of The Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona.

The Chamber set the deadline to receive victims' applications for participation until the end of the Prosecution case. This deadline was set in light of the difficulties of the ICC in reaching out to victims and to collect applications in the circumstances caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, in order to ensure that victims have appropriate time and opportunity to apply for participation in the proceedings.

The Victims Participation and Reparations Section ("VPRS") of the Registry is responsible for assisting victims in the process of applying for participation in proceedings, or for reparations in case of a conviction. It may also assist victims and the Chamber in finding appropriate (common) legal representation of victims during the proceedings.

The VPRS is collecting victims' application forms for participation in the proceedings and/or reparations. It will follow the victim application procedure adopted by Pre-Trial Chamber II, and confirmed by Trial Chamber V in its 19 March 2020 decision.

Who are the victims authorised to participate at trial?

The victims authorised to participate in the process before the ICC are those who suffered crimes of which Messrs. Yekatom and Ngaïssona are accused.

1. Individuals, Organizations or Institutions can be victims

- Individual persons who have suffered direct or indirect personal harm as a result of one of the crimes outlined in the Decision confirming partially the charges.  Individual victims should apply by completing the application form for participation for individuals (available in EnglishFrench, and Sango along with guidelines on how to fill in forms in EnglishFrench, and Sango);

- Organizations or institutions, when their property dedicated to certain purposes (religion, education, art, science or charitable and humanitarian purposes, or historic monuments or hospitals) is directly harmed as a result of one of the crimes outlined in the Decision confirming partially the charges. Organizations and institutions should apply for participation by using the application form for participation for organizations available in English and French along with guidelines in how to fill in forms in English and French). Only duly authorized representatives of an organization or institution may complete the application form.

2. Who suffered harm from crimes for which Messrs. Yekatom and Ngaïssona are accused (crimes outlined in the Decision confirming partially the charges) :

Between September 2013 and December 2014, an armed conflict not of an international character was ongoing in the territory of the Central African Republic between the Seleka and the Anti-Balaka, both constituting organised armed groups at that time. In this context,  Messrs. Yekatom and Ngaïssona stand accused to be criminally responsible for crimes committed by the Anti-Balaka.

Relevant crimes allegedly took place in:

Bangui (including Cattin) and Boeing

In the early morning hours of 5 December 2013, Anti-Balaka elements led by Mr Yekatom attacked the Boeing market in Bangui, specifically targeting the shops owned by Muslims and killing Muslims. They then proceeded to Cattin, where they killed Muslims. By 20 December 2013, they had also destroyed the Boeing Mosque, upon Mr Yekatom's orders.

Following the 5 December 2013 attack, nearly all the Muslim residents of Boeing and Cattin fled, whether to other neighbourhoods in Bangui, other parts of the CAR or neighbouring countries.

These are the crimes of murder, attack against the civilian population, attack on a building dedicated to religion, deportation/ forcible transfer of populations and displacement of the civilian population, persecution

Yamwara school

The judges have decided that the facts and crimes that took place in the Yamwara School must remain confidential for reasons of protection of the witnesses and the victims.

These are the crimes of murder, torture, cruel treatment, other inhumane acts, imprisonment and other forms of severe deprivation of liberty, persecution

Along the PK9-Mbaïki Axis

Following the 5 December 2013 attack on Bangui, Yekatom's Anti-Balaka group advanced through and took over numerous villages in the Lobaye Prefecture (including Sekia, Ndangala, Bimon, Kapou, Bossongo, Pissa et Mbaïki) on or around early to mid-January 2014.

Fearing attacks by the Anti-Balaka, a number of Muslims in the Lobaye Prefecture fled their villages, primarily to Mbaïki.

The Anti-Balaka reached Mbaïki around early February 2014. They harassed, insulted and threatened the Muslims, forcing them to leave the area. The Muslims from Mbaïki were thereafter evacuated to Chad or other locations in the CAR. Following the evacuation, a number of individuals including Anti-Balaka elements chased and killed one of the few remaining Muslim men.

These are the crimes of murder, deportation/forcible transfer of populations and displacement of the civilian population, persecution

Enlistment and use of children under the age of 15

Mr Yekatom stands accused to be criminally responsible for the enlistment and use of children under the age of 15 within the ranks of his Anti-Balaka group, in several locations under his control and in particular during the Attack of 5 December 2013 in Bangui.

Children would have joined the Anti-Balaka voluntarily or forcibly, were given the roles of messengers or spies; were sent to operate checkpoints; and  were mobilised to participate in attacks. The children were also subjected to physical and mental violence by Anti-Balaka elements and were given drugs. These crimes allegedly took place between December 2013 and August 2014.

Bossangoa

Mr Ngaïssona stands accused to be criminally responsible for the attack carried out by two anti-Balaka groups against Bossangoa on 5 December 2013, in which Muslims civilians were targeted. In the days following this attack, the Anti-Balaka pillaged, looted and destroyed the houses of Muslims. As a result, the local Muslims fled and sought shelter at the École de la Liberté. The Anti-Balaka also allegedly destroyed Muslim places of worship, including the central Bossangoa mosque

These are the crimes of murder, attack against the civilian population, rape, destruction of enemy property, pillage, attack on a building dedicated to religion, deportation/ forcible transfer of populations and displacement of the civilian population, imprisonment and other forms of severe deprivation of liberty, persecution

If you are interested in applying to participate in the proceedings as a victim of the alleged crimes listed above, please contact the VPRS at [email protected].

The application form for participation in the proceedings and/or reparations should be ideally filled in with the assistance of persons who have been specially trained by the VPRS, to ensure that the forms are complete and that all the information necessary at this stage is provided. Please contact the VPRS at the above address for assistance.

Please note that the purpose of the application form for participation in the proceedings and for reparations is NOT to provide evidence. The collection of evidence is not within the mandate of the VPRS, but that of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). The OTP generally receives any relevant information that may be considered as evidence relating to crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC at: [email protected], at any time.

Other relevant documents related to the Victim application process

Information booklet for Victims

English, French

Key messages on legal representation of victims in the Case

French

For more victim-related information please click here.