Two members of the International Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic (CAR), yesterday called for the establishment of an international tribunal to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes committed in CAR.
Fatimata M’Baye and Philip Alston, two of the UN Commission’s three members, reported that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been widely committed by all parties in the ongoing conflict.
M’Baye and Alston warned that “unless the world pays attention and holds perpetrators accountable, the situation in CAR could very much spiral into genocide.”
According to the latest report of the Commission, the UN is currently in negotiations to establish a criminal court to prosecute ‘political players’ who have committed crimes against humanity.
“If that goes ahead we are extremely concerned in making sure that a majority of the judges must come from the international community…We do not believe that national judges have that type of independence,” law professor Alston said.
Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened investigations into atrocities committed in CAR since 2012. However, according to Mbaye, the ICC can only prosecute a few top leaders and there is a need for justice on a much larger scale.
More than two years of civil war and sectarian violence resulted in the killing of at least 5,000 people. According to UN estimates, nearly 440,000 people remain displaced inside the country while some 190,000 have sought asylum across the borders.