ICC Opens Second Investigation into Central African Republic
On September 24, 2014 Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), announced in a press release her decision to open a second investigation in the Central African Republic (CAR). Pursuant to Arts. 13(a) and 14 of the Rome Statute, the transitional government of CAR referred its situation “regarding crimes allegedly committed on CAR territory since 1 August 2012” to the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). Once such a State Party referral is received, the Prosecutor opens a preliminary examination, according to Article 18, to assess whether the OTP can proceed with an investigation. In accordance with article 53(1), the Prosecutor’s office conducted an independent preliminary examination and concluded that
[t]he information available provides a reasonable basis to believe that both the Séléka and the anti-balaka groups have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes including murder, rape, forced displacement, persecution, pillaging, attacks against humanitarian missions and the use of children under fifteen in combat. The list of atrocities is endless. I cannot ignore these alleged crimes, [Prosecutor Bensouda stated].
Article 53(1) Report of the Situation in the Central African Republic II outlines the scope of preliminary examination conducted by the OTP, which includes analysis of the preconditions to Court’s jurisdiction, the Court’s subject-matter jurisdiction over the alleged crimes, the admissibility issues articulated in Article 17, and the overall interest of justice. The conclusions of the preliminary examination provided reasonable basis for the OTP to initiate an investigation. You may follow the developments in both situations on the Court’s website: