[QODLink]
Africa

AU backs call for war crimes tribunal in CAR

African Union supports new UN report that recommends a special tribunal for crimes committed by "both sides".

Last updated: 07 Jun 2014 11:30
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
The violence has continued despite the presence of 2,000 French troops and a 5,600-strong African Union force [AFP]

The African Union has backed a UN inquiry call for the Security Council to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both sides of the conflict in the Central African Republic.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Mull Sebujja Katende, Uganda's Ambassador to the AU and this month's chair of the African Union Peace and Security Council, said the organisation backed the inquiry's call for accountability, adding that African peacekeepers in Central African Republic were looking out for "any people who abuse human rights."

Mapping Central African Republic's bloodshed

"A principle within the African Union is that whatever happens anywhere, there should be no killings of innocent
people. And that if that happens, whoever does it should be accountable. That is a very strong principle," Katende told reporters.

The preliminary report compiled by a commission of inquiry, found "that ample evidence exists to prove that individuals from both sides of the conflict perpetuated serious breaches of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity as well as war crimes."

UN officials have warned that the conflict between Muslims and Christians could spiral into genocide, although the inquiry
said "it is premature to talk of an international armed conflict, of genocide or ethnic cleansing."

The commission was established in January by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the request of the Security
Council.

The Muslim-led Seleka rebels seized power in the Central African Republic more than a year ago, perpetrating abuses on
the majority Christian population that triggered waves of revenge attacks, leading to thousands of deaths and forcing
about a million people to flee their homes.

Interactive: The war across the river

The UN inquiry said it "prays the Security Council should consider the possibility of putting into place a jurisdiction which will
to start investigate and prepare the prosecution suspects of violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws
as well as war crimes who are already identifiable." 

The violence has continued in Central African Republic despite the presence of 2,000 French troops and some 5,600
African Union forces.

In April, the Security Council authorised a UN peacekeeping force of up to 10,000 troops and 1,800 police, which is due to assume authority in September.

"If the international community does not react with speed and determination by sending more peace keeping forces to CAR, we may soon face a situation which will rapidly deteriorate and bring about genocide and ethnic cleansing," the inquiry said.

464

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.