THE HAGUE, (Xinhua) — All individuals and groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) engaged in violence must desist, and perpetrators of recent serious crimes committed against civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian workers will be brought to justice, warned Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday.
Violence and clashes between armed groups in several parts of CAR have increased in the last months. “The current situation appears extremely precarious with reports of violence and allegations of serious crimes committed against civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian workers. These reported crimes may fall under the jurisdiction of the ICC and must immediately stop,” said Bensouda in a statement. “My office is monitoring these developments very closely to assess what further action may be required. We stand ready to assist the competent Central African authorities who have the primary duty to investigate and prosecute those allegedly responsible for these crimes,” she added.
On May 13, an assault in a district of Bangassou (470 km to the east of Bangui, the capital of the central African country) left at least 115 people dead. On May 8, dozens were killed in two other towns because of clashes between factions of the anti-Balaka coalition and ex-Seleka rebels. Six UN peacekeepers were killed.Clashes between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013.