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Central African Republic
The Central African Republic (CAR) government referred itself to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 22 December 2004. This was the third self-referral by an ICC state party, following Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The ICC prosecutor’s investigation opened on 22 May 2007.

In February 2014, The ICC prosecutor opened a new preliminary examination into the situation in CAR since September 2012, stating that the crimes allegedly being committed were unrelated to the crimes already under investigation following the December 2004 referral by CAR authorities.

Bemba trial
Former DRC vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo is currently facing trial at the ICC for crimes against humanity and war crimes allegedly committed by troops under his control in the CAR. The crimes are alleged to have been committed in 2002/03 after Bemba’s mitilia group, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo, had been invited by the then CAR president, Ange-Félix Patassé, to help put down a coup attempt.

The Bemba trial opened on 22 November 2010. In November 2013, the defense concluded the presentation of its case. A judgment is pending.

New case against 5 suspected of forging evidence and bribing witnesses in Bemba trial.
In November 2013, authorities in the Netherlands, France, Belgium and the DRC arrested Aimé Kilolo-Musamba, Bemba’s lead defense counsel; Jean-Jaques Mangenda Kabongo, also part of Bemba’s defense team; Fidèle Babala Wandu, a member of the DRC parliament and deputy secretary general of Bemba’s Movement for the Liberation of Congo; and Narcisse Arido, a defense witness in the Bemba case. They are suspected of presenting false or forged evidence and bribed witnesses in the Bemba trial. Bemba has also been charged with the same crimes.

Pre-Trial Chamber II has set a calendar for expeditious proceedings leading to the confirmation of charges decision (on whether or not to send the case to trial), that will be rendered in writing. Both the prosecution and defense have filed written confirmation of charges submissions.

On 11 July 2014 the Appeals Chamber dismissed, by majority, the appeals of Aimé Kilolo Musamba, Fidèle Babala Wandu and Jean-Jacques Mangenda Kabongo against the decisions of Pre-Trial Chamber II of 14 and 17 March 2014 rejecting their requests for interim release.

For more information:
• Visit our Bemba trial webpage
Sign up for our email updates and trial summaries (and follow us on Twitter and Facebook).
Archive of trial summaries

Opening of the investigation
On 7 January 2005, the prosecutor received a letter from the CAR government referring the “situation of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court committed anywhere on the territory of the Central African Republic since 1 July 2002….” The prosecutor subsequently announced that he was carrying out a preliminary examination in order to determine whether to initiate an investigation.

In a decision of 11 April 2006, the CAR Cour de Cassation (the country’s highest criminal court) partly rejected an appeal against a decision of the Bangui Court of Appeal of 16 December 2004, which held that only the ICC was able to try the most serious crimes committed in the CAR since 1 July 2002. The Cour de Cassation held that the CAR justice system was unable to carry out effective investigations and prosecutions. The ICC Office of the Prosecutor had previously stated that it was waiting for the decision of the Cour de Cassation to decide whether to open an investigation in CAR, on the basis of the complementarity principle contained in the Rome Statute.

On 22 May 2007, the prosecutor announced the opening of the investigation into grave crimes allegedly committed in the CAR, with the peak of violence occurring in 2002 and 2003. The prosecutor’s announcement highlighted in particular sexual violence, referring to hundreds of victims telling of rapes and other abuses committed “with particular cruelty.” The prosecutor also explained that this was the first time he was “opening an investigation in which allegations of sexual crimes far outnumber alleged killings.”

Concern for civilians following Seleka coup in 2013
In March 2013, an alliance of rebels, known as Seleka, staged coup in the CAR, ousting President François Bozizé. The ICC prosecutor, the UN Security Council, the European Union and Coalition members have repeatedly expressed concern at violence being committed against civilians amid widespread lawlessness that has followed the coup. The prosecutor has also stated that she will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute all those alleged to have committed grave crimes.

Meanwhile, the Trust Fund for Victims also announced the suspension of its activities in the country until further notice. The Fund had been set to launch victims’ assistance programs for victims who have suffered harm linked to the commission of crimes under the ICC jurisdiction in the country, particularly with victims of sexual and gender based violence.
Audio Visual Resources
Conference Reports and Declarations
NGO Media Statements
Authorascending Date and Title
AI
12 Jan 2005
Central African Republic: Referral to the ICC should be accompanied by judicial reforms to address impunity
ASADHO/Katanga
25 May 2008
Justice Pénale Internationale : la CPI devrait poursuivre encore d’autres criminels des crimes internationaux commis en RDC
Amnesty International
01 Dec 2010
Central African Republic must arrest Omar al-Bashir during visit
Amnesty International
20 Oct 2011
Central African Republic: Civilians bear the brunt of decades of violence and abuses
Amnesty International
14 May 2013
Amnesty International Public Statement: Amnesty International Calls on the New Central African Republic Government to Protect Civilians
Amnesty International
29 Oct 2013
Central African Republic: Violence of security forces now out of control
Amnesty International
08 Nov 2013
New satellite images reveal shocking aftermath of abuses in Central African Republic
Amnesty International
25 Nov 2013
Central African Republic: UN must tackle the looming human catastrophe
Amnesty International
02 Dec 2013
Central African Republic: UN peacekeeping mission needed to avoid mass slaughter
Amnesty International
05 Dec 2013
Escalating bloodshed and reported revenge killings in Central African Republic
Amnesty International
05 Dec 2013
Central African Republic: UN must not let peacekeepers fail
Amnesty International
09 Dec 2013
Central African Republic: International community must ensure effective protection of civilians
Amnesty International
12 Dec 2013
African Union: Concrete action urgently needed to halt atrocities in Central African Republic
Amnesty International
19 Dec 2013
Central African Republic: War crimes and crimes against humanity in Bangui
Amnesty International
10 Jan 2014
Urgent need for increase in peacekeeping troops as CAR President steps down
Amnesty International
20 Jan 2014
CAR: Interim president must rein in “out of control” militias as Muslims forced to flee
Amnesty International
24 Jan 2014
Central African Republic: More than 50 Muslims killed in two attacks
Amnesty International
28 Jan 2014
CAR: AU must deploy remaining peacekeepers to protect civilians from imminent attack
Amnesty International
12 Feb 2014
Central African Republic: Ethnic cleansing and sectarian killings
Amnesty International
14 Feb 2014
CAR: Girl found amongst dead bodies after village massacre
Amnesty International
28 Feb 2014
CAR: Urgent action needed by the UN Security Council to address crisis
Amnesty International
05 Mar 2014
Chad/CAR: New humanitarian crisis for those fleeing violence in CAR
Amnesty International
26 Mar 2014
CAR: Urgent deployment of EU troops needed to quell fresh violence
Amnesty International
02 Apr 2014
EU and African leaders must not fail the people of Central African Republic
Amnesty International
07 Apr 2014
The world still failing to act despite Rwanda genocide shame
Amnesty International
13 May 2014
Chad border closure will cut off lifeline for CAR refugees
Amnesty International
23 May 2014
CAR: Change in Government must not lead to impunity
Amnesty International
10 July 2014
CAR: Perpetrators of atrocities must have nowhere to hide from justice
Amnesty International
10 July 2014
CAR: Perpetrators of atrocities must have nowhere to hide from justice
Amnesty International
21 July 2014
Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes
Amnesty International
06 Aug 2014
CAR: Resignation of government must not open door to impunity
Amnesty International
15 Sept 2014
CAR: Full deployment of UN peacekeepers urgently needed to protect civilian lives
Amnesty International
09 Oct 2014
UN peacekeepers face ‘biggest test’ to protect civilians amid worsening CAR violence
Amnesty International
06 Nov 2014
Central African Republic: UN credibility at stake amid rising attacks against civilians
Amnesty International
24 Apr 2015
Central African Republic Key Step Toward Justice
Amnesty International
04 May 2015
Central African Republic New Constitution should leave no space for impunity
CAD
26 May 2008
Reaction in connection with the arrest of Jean Pierre Bemba
CAR Coalition
23 May 2007
Communiqué de presse de la Coalition centrafricaine pour la CPI
CAR Coalition
30 July 2007
Réaction aux nouvelles formes de résolutions de conflits
CAR Coalition for the ICC
27 May 2008
Central African Coalition for the ICC Press Release No. 02/2008 on the arrest of Mr. Jean Pierre Bemba
CCCPI
20 Nov 2010
Communiqué de la Coalition centrafricaine pour la CPI à l’occasion de l’ouverture du procès Bemba
CCCPI
11 Feb 2014
Communiqué de presse de la Coalition Centrafricaine pour la CPI relatif à l'annonce par Madame le Procureur de la CPI de l'ouverture d'une enquête préliminaire sur la situation des violations des Droits Humains en République Centrafricaine
CICC
03 July 2008
Jean-Pierre Bemba Transferred to the ICC Detention Center in The Hague
CICC
15 June 2009
ICC Judges move case against Jean Pierre Bemba to trial for crimes in Central African Republic
CICC
10 Jan 2005
International Criminal Court Announces Receipt of State Referral by the Central African Republic**
CICC
22 May 2007
ICC Opens Fourth Investigation in Central African Republic
CICC
25 May 2008
ICC Secures First Arrest in CAR Situation
CICC
14 Aug 2009
Jean-Pierre Bemba Granted Interim Release but Still Faces ICC Trial
CICC
22 Nov 2010
Bemba Trial Opens in The Hague
CICC
12 Feb 2014
Use of Child Soldiers in CAR Underlines Urgent Need for Accountability
CN-CPI/SK
25 May 2008
“The best way to honor the victims of serious crimes is to bring to justice their alleged executioners”
CCCPI
30 Nov 2010
CAR Authorities Must Arrest Al-Bashir or Bar Him Entry in the Country
FIDH
13 Apr 2006
The Cour de Cassation confirms the incapacity of the national justice system to investigate and prosecute serious crimes
FIDH
22 June 2006
La FIDH dénonce l’inertie de la Cour pénale internationale
FIDH
12 Oct 2006
Oubliées, stigmatisées : la double peine des victimes de crimes internationaux (communiqué)
FIDH
01 Dec 2006
Le Procureur de la Cour pénale internationale doit prendre sa décision dans « les plus brefs délais » quant à l’ouverture ou non d’une enquête sur la situation en République centrafricaine
FIDH
06 Feb 2007
République centrafricaine: Un criminel de guerre présumé revient à Bangui en toute impunité
FIDH
07 Nov 2006
Birao tombe aux mains des rebelles - Indifférence et impunité font le jeu des prédateurs des droits de l’Homme
FIDH
01 Mar 2007
Central African Republic /Election: The Civilian Population in Northern Central African Republic is in Great Danger
FIDH
04 Mar 2007
The political transition closes against a backdrop of impunity: How will the International Criminal Court respond?
FIDH
23 May 2008
L'amnistie octroyée par l'Accord de cessez-le-feu et de paix est
FIDH
25 May 2008
Arrest of Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo
FIDH
03 July 2008
Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo Before the Judges
FIDH
09 Jan 2009
Audience de confirmation des charges contre Jean-Pierre Bemba devant la CPI: vers le premier procès des crimes internationaux commis en RCA
FIDH
16 June 2009
Bemba sera jugé par la CPI : espoir de justice en République centrafricaine
FIDH
03 Sept 2009
La FIDH craint pour la sécurité des victimes et des témoins Jean-Pierre Bemba maintenu en détention dans l'attente de l'appel
FIDH
28 Sept 2009
Oral statement on the UPR report of Central African Republic
FIDH
05 Nov 2009
La FIDH appelle à la délivrance par la Cour pénale internationale d'autres mandats d'arrêt sur la situation en République centrafricaine
FIDH
18 Nov 2010
Opening of the Trial of Jean-Pierre Bemba: The Self-Sacrifice and Courage of Central African Victims Finally Rewarded
FIDH
03 Jan 2013
Conflit en République centrafricaine : Des négociations pour une transition politique inclusive et respectueuse des droits humains, y compris du droit des victimes à la justice
FIDH
09 Jan 2013
Conflict in the Central African Republic: Negotiations for a politically inclusive transition respectful of human rights, including the right to justice by victims
FIDH
07 Feb 2013
African Union: Greater Efforts Needed on Crises and Conflicts Situations and to Ensure the Effectiveness of Human Rights Protection Mechanisms
FIDH
26 Mar 2013
Central African Republic: FIDH condemns the coup d’Etat calls for immediate cessation of violence and the restoration of constitutional order
FIDH
23 Sept 2013
Central African Republic: The International Community must Help the Country Surmount the Current Chaos
FIDH
27 Nov 2013
CAR: UN must urgently deploy a peacekeeping mission
FIDH
05 Dec 2013
CAR: Security Council authorizes MISCA and France’s troops, but still no UN peacekeeping mission
FIDH
09 Dec 2013
Central African Republic: the Security Council finally acts to protect the population
FIDH
08 Jan 2014
CAR: Urgent need for UN peacekeepers
FIDH
13 Mar 2014
UN: Authorize Peacekeeping Mission for Central African Republic
FIDH
13 June 2014
La FIDH appelle la Procureure de la CPI à ouvrir une enquête sur les crimes graves commis en RCA
FIDH
16 Sept 2014
Central African Republic: MINUSCA Must Guarantee the Security, Ensure the Rule of Law and Fight Against Impunity
FIDH
24 Sept 2014
Centrafrique : La CPI ouvre une enquête sur les crimes internationaux commis depuis 2012
FIDH
19 Feb 2015
Why a Special Criminal Court for the Central African Republic Deserves Your Support
FIDH
24 Apr 2015
New Special Criminal Court: A Key Step Toward Justice
FIDH - LCDH - OCODEFAD
22 May 2007
The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opens an investigation into serious crimes committed in Central African Republic
HRW
22 May 2007
Central African Republic: ICC Opens Investigation
HRW
14 Sept 2007
Central African Republic: Government Forces Kill Hundreds
HRW
25 Sept 2007
UN: Summit on Africa Should Not Overlook Justice
HRW
22 Nov 2010
ICC: Trial Opens for Congo's Ex-Vice President
HRW
20 Oct 2011
Obama Sends Military Support to Help Combat LRA Rebels
HRW
09 July 2012
Central African Republic: LRA Attack Near Hunting Reserve
HRW
26 June 2014
Central African Republic: ICC Investigation Needed
Human Rights Watch
10 May 2013
Central African Republic: Rampant Abuses After Coup
Human Rights Watch
27 June 2013
Human Rights Watch warned that the CAR’s Seleka rebels continue to kill civilians and burn villages
Human Rights Watch
18 Sept 2013
Central African Republic: Horrific Abuses by New Rulers
Human Rights Watch
25 Nov 2013
Central African Republic: War Crimes by Ex-Seleka Rebels
Human Rights Watch
19 Dec 2013
Central African Republic: Sectarian Atrocities Escalate
Human Rights Watch
05 Feb 2014
Central African Republic: Seleka Fighters Regroup in North
Human Rights Watch
06 Feb 2014
Central African Republic: Justice Needed for Lynching
Human Rights Watch
12 Feb 2014
Central African Republic: Muslims Forced to Flee
Human Rights Watch
07 Mar 2014
Central African Republic: Muslim Communities Emptied
Human Rights Watch
11 Mar 2014
Central African Republic: Seleka Fighters Attack Village
Human Rights Watch
13 Mar 2014
UN: Authorize Peacekeeping Mission for Central African Republic
Human Rights Watch
24 Mar 2014
Central African Republic: A Country in Turmoil
Human Rights Watch
28 Mar 2014
Central African Republic: Siege on Capital’s Muslims
Human Rights Watch
03 Apr 2014
Central African Republic: Massacres in Remote Villages
Human Rights Watch
02 June 2014
Central African Republic: Peacekeepers Tied to Abuse
Human Rights Watch
05 June 2014
Central African Republic: Let Muslims Seek Safety
Human Rights Watch
20 July 2014
Central African Republic: No Amnesty for Serious Crimes
Human Rights Watch
15 Sept 2014
Central African Republic: Civilians in Danger
Human Rights Watch
10 Nov 2014
Central African Republic: Urge End to Killings
Human Rights Watch
20 Feb 2015
Central African Republic: Create Court to Combat Impunity
Human Rights Watch
09 Mar 2015
Central African Republic: Security Council Visit
Human Rights Watch
22 Apr 2015
Central African Republic: Muslims Held Captive, Raped
Human Rights Watch
24 Apr 2015
Central African Republic: Key Step Toward Justice
International Crisis Group
02 Jan 2013
Central African Republic: Avoiding Another Battle of Bangui
International Crisis Group
02 Dec 2013
Central African Republic: Better Late Than Never
International Crisis Group
04 May 2015
Le forum de Bangui : ne pas répéter les erreurs du passé
LIPADHO
26 May 2008
Press Release dated 25 May 2008, from LIPADHO on the ICC arrest warrant against Jean-Pierre BEMBA GOMBO
NSHR
25 May 2008
ICC NABS JEAN-PIERRE BEMBA
ONG centrafricaines
05 Mar 2006
Déclaration des ONG de défense des droits de l’homme (RCA)
4443|4444
ONG des droits de l’homme centrafricaines
05 Mar 2006
Déclaration des ONG de défense et de promotion des droits de l’homme sur les graves atteintes aux droits de l’homme perpetrées à Papoua
ONG des droits de l’homme centrafricaines
05 Mar 2006
Déclaration des ONG de défense et de promotion des droits de l’homme sur les graves atteintes aux droits de l’homme perpetrées à Papoua (Signature)
PGA
27 May 2008
PGA welcomes the arrest of jean-Pierre Bemba and calls for the application of the principle of equality before the law
PGA
01 Dec 2010
L'Action Mondiale des Parlementaires (PGA) salue l'absence du président soudanais aux cérémonies du cinquantenaire de l'independance en RCA
PGA
09 Jan 2013
PGA's Central African Republic National Group issues statement on the political military crisis that started on December 10, 2012, in the north-eastern Central African Republic
Parliamentarians for Global Action
28 Mar 2013
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) condemns Coup D'état in the Central African Republic: Calls for Upholding of Libreville Agreement of 11 January 2013
Parliamentarians for Global Action
26 Nov 2013
Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) calls for Urgent Action in the Central African Republic - Rapid Deployment of International/Regional Troops Needed
Parliamentarians for Global Action
31 July 2014
PGA WORRIED BY THE SURGE OF VIOLENCE FOLLOWING THE CEASE FIRE AGREEMENT IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Parliamentarians for Global Action
24 Feb 2015
PGA Supports the Creation of a Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic
Parliamentarians for Global Action
24 Apr 2015
PGA welcomes the adoption by the Central African Parliament of the law establishing a Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic
RONDGH
14 Apr 2013
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE RELATIF A LA DEGRATION DE LA SITUATION SECURITAIRE ET LES MULTIPLES VIOLATIONS DES DROITS HUMAINS EN REPUBLIQUE CENTRAFRICAINE
RONDGH
23 Apr 2013
APPEL URGENT SUR LA SITUATION DES DROITS DE L’HOMME
The International Crisis Group
17 June 2014
The Central African Crisis: From Predation to Stabilisation
UCICC
30 May 2008
Press Statement on Bemba’s Arrest
VGCD
26 May 2008
COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE 003/VGCD/GK/08
WITNESS and Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice
30 May 2012
WITNESS, Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice and JUPEDEC’s new documentary exposes LRA’s gender-based crimes in the Central African Republic
Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice
22 Nov 2010
CICC Press briefing on the opening of the Bemba trial: Statement by Brigid Inder, Executive Director, Women’s Initiatives
Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice
11 Jan 2013
Statement from civil society in the Central African Republic
Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice
11 Apr 2013
Civil society statement on situation in the CAR
Women's Initiatives for Gender Justice
11 Nov 2014
Ground-breaking case for the ICC reaches closing stages
Women’s Initiatives
22 May 2007
Investigation of Rape and Sexual Violence in CAR