Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes

from Amnesty International
Published on 19 Jul 2014

Amnesty International called on delegates to the CAR National Reconciliation talks due to take place in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo on 21-23 July to ensure that their discussions do not lead to impunity for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious human rights violations that have been committed in the Central African Republic (CAR). Those suspected of involvement in crimes under international law must not be allowed to use this forum to perpetuate the culture of impunity in the country.

It is understood that a number of people, including anti-balaka and Séléka leaders, have been invited to take part in the CAR National Reconciliation talks. Amnesty International has received credible evidence against a number of these leaders that they have been involved in crimes under international law.

“The Brazzaville peace talks must ensure that accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and other crimes under international law are at the heart of any discussion to bring peace in CAR. Individuals suspected of these crimes must not be allowed to use these peace talks to secure positions in the government that they may use to enjoy impunity,» said Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa Director, Research and Advocacy.

In its report, Central African Republic: Time for Accountability, published 10 July, Amnesty International named members and allies of the anti-balaka and Séléka armed groups suspected of involvement in serious human rights abuses. They include ex-Presidents François Bozizé and Michel Djotodia, anti-balaka coordinators, including Levy Yakété and Séléka commanders, including Noureddine Adam. The report calls for the investigation and prosecution if there is sufficient evidence to bring cases against these individuals.

On 11 July 2014, a Séléka congress held in Birao, in northern CAR, designated former President Michel Djotodia and former commander and Minister Nourredine Adam as the armed group’s President and Vice-president, respectively. These two individuals are named in the Amnesty International report and are under UN and US sanctions for their involvement in the ongoing crisis and in human rights violations and abuses committed in CAR. .

Amnesty International is calling on the CAR transitional authorities,members of the international community including the ECCAS, the UN and the African Union to ensure that accountability for crimes under international law and other serious violations and abuses of human right in CAR is at the heart of any peace talks. Amnesty International believes that there can be no long lasting peace in CAR if impunity continues.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Sadibou Marong, Amnesty International Regional Press Officer West and Central Africa Office + 221 77 658 62 27,