Central African Republic: United Nations (UN) human rights chief hails convictions for 2019 massacre

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, on Wednesday welcomed the sentencing and sentencing of three members of the Return, Complaint and Rehabilitation (3R) armed group for crimes against humanity and war crimes for their role in a 2019 massacre of 46 civilians and other serious abuses in the Central African Republic.

The three defendants – Issa Sallet Adoum (alias Bozizé), Mahamat Tahir and Yaouba Ousman – were found guilty on October 31 and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment for the killings and other crimes that took place. place in Lemouna and Koundjili, in the northwest of the country.

“This is a historic first judgment by the Special Criminal Court for international crimes as defined by the law of the Central African Republic. The judgment shows the capacity of the courts of the Central African Republic, assisted by the international community, to respond to the most serious crimes suffered by its people,” said Türk.

“Although subject to appeal, the verdict is an important step in the fight against impunity in the country. It will serve as a lasting reminder that violations of human rights and serious crimes under international law can never be tolerated, regardless of who commits them. It is an important warning to other perpetrators that they too will one day face justice for crimes committed by them or their subordinates.

He welcomed the Court’s acknowledgment that the perpetration of rapes was part of a widespread and systematic attack against civilians and that the perpetrators were fully aware of it. This is an important recognition of the victims of sexual violence in this case and in the conflict more broadly, the High Commissioner said.

The High Commissioner reaffirmed his Office’s support for the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic, including through the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic. He called on the authorities and the international community to continue to support her.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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