International Criminal Court to Investiagte Crimes in CAR

Posted May 22, 2007 by Bob Ewing

large number of alleged rapes in Central African Republic (CAR) to be focus.
An investigation, into war crimes alleged to have been committed in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2003-2003, will be held by The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The investigation would mainly focus on the large number of alleged rapes.
The 2002-2003 timeframe was selected because this is the period when a failed coup by current President Francois Bozize against the government of former leader Ange-Felix Patasse and its violent aftermath took place.
CAR's Supreme Court originally referred to matter to the ICC in 2004 because CAR claimed that it did not have the ability to prosecute such cases.
The ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, said: "The information we have now suggests that the rape of civilians was committed in numbers that cannot be ignored under international law." His office has taken testimony from hundreds of alleged rape victims, some of whom said they were assaulted in public or in the presence of family members.
In 2005 CAR court referred Mr. Patasse and the Vice-President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jean-Pierre Bemba, to the ICC on charges of rape and murder. Two aides were also referred. To date no arrests have been made.
It is hoped that the referral to the ICC will result in justice being done and a message send that crimes of such massive proportions cannot be undertaken with impunity.