CAR suspect wanted for war crimes against Muslims handed to ICC | Central African Republic News

Alfred Yekatom, a war crimes suspect wanted for alleged atrocities against Muslims in the Central African Republic (CAR), has been extradited to The Hague to stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The announcement by the tribunal on Saturday came days after issuing a warrant against Yekatom – a sitting member of parliament once nicknamed “Rambo” – for his alleged criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity  

The ICC launched an investigation in September 2014 into crimes committed in the resource-rich but poor country since 2012.

A former army officer, Yekatom is an ex-militia leader within the so-called Anti-balaka movement, which was carrying out a systematic attack against the Muslim population.

The Netherlands-based court alleges that Yekatom commanded some 3,000 Christian Anti-balaka fighters responsible for atrocities committed in the CAR between December 2013 and August 2014.

In 2015, he became the target of US sanctions for suspected attacks against Muslims, civilian deaths and for using 153 child fighters.

Yekatom was elected to parliament in 2016. He was arrested in October for opening fire inside the legislature while its new president was being elected.

Ongoing violence

Commenting on his extradition, Pierre Brunisso, from the International Federation of Human Rights watchdog, called it “a strong message” to the leaders of armed groups.

“Those who think they can claim an amnesty at the negotiating table are mistaken.”

The International Federation for Human Rights also welcomed Yekatom’s transfer to ICC custody.

The move “confirms the authorities’ commitment to cooperate with the ICC when they are unable to pursue those most responsible for war crimes,” Drissa Traore, a vice president of the federation, said.

But in continuing unrest, a Tanzanian peacekeeper died late on Friday after an attack on a United Nations base and a priest was found burned to death, following violence earlier this week in Alindao town that killed dozens of people and forced thousands of others to flee.

The CAR has struggled to recover from a 2013 civil war that erupted when President Francois Bozize, a Christian, was overthrown by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.

In response, Christians, who account for about 80 percent of the population, organised vigilante units dubbed “Anti-balaka”.

The conflict has killed thousands of people and caused the displacement of a fifth of the country’s 4.5 million population. More than 642,000 have been internally displaced, according to the UN.

The world body has about 12,500 personnel deployed in the CAR as part of its MINUSCA mission, one of its biggest peacekeeping forces.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

Source link

more recommended stories

  • Indonesia’s Prabowo challenges election result in court | News

    Defeated Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto.

  • India elections 2019: All the latest updates | India News

    Counting of votes is under way.

  • US charges WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with espionage | USA News

    The US Justice Department unveiled 17.

  • What you need to know about India’s BJP | India News

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is.

  • Pentagon ‘mulls sending thousands more troops’ to Middle East | News

    The United States‘ Department of Defense.

  • US House Speaker Pelosi says Trump is engaged in a ‘cover up’ | USA News

    Democrats in the United States House.

  • Washington says attacks ‘deterred’ as US-Iran tensions rise | News

    The acting US defence secretary says.

  • New Ukrainian President Zelensky calls early parliamentary polls | Ukraine News

    Ukraine‘s new President Volodymyr Zelensky called.

  • Water supplies restored to besieged Libyan capital Tripoli | Libya News

    Water supplies to the 2.5 million.

  • Trump loses lawsuit challenging subpoena for financial records | Trump News

    A US judge on Monday ruled.

  • North African filmmakers pushing boundaries at Cannes 2019 | France News

    This year’s Cannes Film Festival is.

  • US says warship sails in South China Sea amid trade tensions | News

    The United States military has said.

  • Saudi Arabia ‘seeks to avert war, ready to respond with force’ | News

    Saudi Arabia wants to avert war.

  • Eurovision vs Globalvision: An artistic response | Palestine News

    Bethlehem and London – Palestinian, Israeli.

  • Presidential hopeful Joe Biden calls for unity in inaugural rally | Elections 2018 News

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has.

  • US warns airliners flying over Gulf of ‘misidentification’ | Iran News

    US diplomats warned commercial airliners flying.

  • Australian election: Voting under way in key contest | Australia News

    Melbourne, Australia – Australians are heading.

  • An Iranian building bridges in wall-obsessed America | US & Canada

    A towering artist of his generation,.

  • Taiwan parliament to vote on same-sex marriage legislation | Taiwan News

    Amid deep divisions, Taiwan‘s parliament has.

  • The Philippines’ Duterte: In pursuit of an imperial presidency | Asia

    Although President Rodrigo Duterte‘s name was.

  • Venezuela government, opposition in Norway for crucial talks | News

    Envoys from the Venezuelan government and.

  • Alibaba earnings hint at China’s ability to weather trade war | China News

    China‘s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group reported.

  • Iran halts some commitments under 2015 nuclear deal | News

    Iran has officially stopped some commitments.

  • PNG assesses damage from magnitude 7.5 earthquake | Papua New Guinea News

    Authorities in Papua New Guinea have dispatched.

  • Palestinian campaigners call for mass boycott of Airbnb on May 15 | News

    A Palestinian campaign has called on.

  • Spyware discovered targeting phones through WhatsApp calls | News

    Spyware crafted by an “advanced cyber.

  • Senior Palestinian official says she was refused US visa | USA News

    A senior Palestinian official has said she.

  • Sweden to reopen rape probe against WikiLeaks founder Assange | News

    Julian Assange is to be investigated.

  • Small lead for Australian opposition as election nears: poll | Australia News

    Australia‘s opposition Labor Party retains a.

  • Gunmen attack hotel in Pakistan’s Gwadar, kill five people | News

    Islamabad, Pakistan – Gunmen have stormed a.

  • India election 2019: Sixth round of voting under way for 59 seats | India elections 2019 News

    Voters in Delhi and elsewhere in.

  • Houthi rebels begin withdrawal from key ports in Yemen | Yemen News

    Yemen’s Houthi rebels have begun a.