A life sentence for crimes against humanity has been requested against three defendants by the Special Criminal Court (CPS), a hybrid court of local and international magistrates in the Central African Republic, according to documents consulted on Sunday August 14 by AFP.
The SCC, created in 2015 by the government under UN sponsorship, is responsible for trying war crimes and crimes against humanity committed since 2003. It opened its first trial on April 25, adjourned from the first hearing. without the defendants being heard, due to the absence of their lawyers.
Issa Sallet Adoum, Ousman Yaouba and Tahir Mahamat, members of one of the most powerful armed groups which have terrorized populations for years, the 3Rs (Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation), are on trial in Bangui for war crimes and crimes against the Humanité, accused of the massacre, on May 21, 2019, of 46 civilians in villages in the north-west, Koundjili and Lemouna.
One of the magistrates "
dwelled on the numerous testimonies cross-checking the facts, thus making it possible to support the remarks which led to the indictment of the accused, namely: war crimes and crimes against humanity
", according to a document of the CPS, and "
requested for all of the defendants a sentence of life imprisonment
Another magistrate "
demonstrated the full responsibility of the defendants and particularly for the case of rape, the law of which does not require the victim to have any witness, knowing that during such acts, only the victim and the executioner(s) are present.
The work of the CPS was launched in October 2018 with the first surveys.
This special court is made up of judges and prosecutors from – in addition to the Central African Republic – notably France, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Central African Republic, the second least developed country in the world according to the UN, has been the scene of a civil war since 2013, very deadly in its first years but which has decreased in intensity since 2018. In the first years it opposed majority Muslim militias united within the Seleka alliance, to others -- the anti-balakas -- dominated by Christians and animists, the UN accusing both sides of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
It continues today between armed rebel groups, from the Séléka and anti-balaka sometimes united, and the army of President Faustin Archange Touadéra supported by hundreds of Russian paramilitaries.