Worldwide Courtroom Accuses Two Central African Militia Leaders of Assaults on Muslims
“The goal of their strategy was to regain power. The means, the consequences – unfortunately that’s why we are here, “he said, adding that Mr. Ngaïssona was” fully aware that the group he helped structure, arm, finance, instruct and organize inevitably turned to Muslims would target civilians in the western Central African Republic He knew the vengeance in them. “
Both men pleaded not guilty.
“I do not recognize myself in the charges against me,” said Mr Ngaïssona.
“I understand everything and I say categorically that these allegations are incorrect.” Mr. Yékatom said.
The process is expected to take two years.
The Seleka perpetrators are under investigation and will also be tried in the Dutch court, the prosecutor said. A Seleka leader, Mahamat Said, was handed over to the ICC in January.
“There is enough tragedy to go anywhere,” said Vanderpuye.
The fact that Seleka and anti-Balaka rebels had teamed up to disrupt the December election showed that the conflict at the community level was not religious, said Anthony Fabrice Kettemalet, a human rights activist and school teacher who supports the Bird of Peace organization founded that promotes nonviolence in the Central African Republic. Rather, he said politicians used religious divisions as a tool to manipulate people and gain political power.
“We have lived without justice for 50 years,” said Kettemalet. “We hope this is only the first step in a long way.”
Efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice at home are also ongoing. The Central African Republic set up a special criminal court in 2015 and, although it has not yet tried it, is still investigating. It depends on the United Nations but does not have sufficient financial resources.