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What is the Special Criminal Court? What is the first trial before the SCC about? When will the trial start and how long will it run? Why is the SCC important? When did the SCC become operational? How does the SCC relate to the…
A new building was established for the Special Criminal Court (SCC) in Bangui, Central African Republic in November 2020. 
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Anti-Balaka Leader to Face Justice at ICC

On March 14, Chad surrendered a former military coordinator of a group of anti-balaka militia in the Central African Republic, Maxime Mokom, to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Mokom had fled to Chad after having taken part in a rebel coalition…
A man sits facing the camera
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Justice for 3R Abuses an Important Step Toward Accountability

On December 17, the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) announced it will send its first case to trial. This is a significant moment in the difficult effort to see justice for heinous abuses committed in the most recent conflicts…
Judges from the Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) listen to arguments in a hearing
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Confirmation of Charges Hearing in Commander Case Starts Today

Today, the International Criminal Court (ICC) begins the pretrial hearing in the case of a former commander of the Seleka rebel group, who is charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic. The case is an important…
An ICC billboard in Bangui in September 2021, announcing Said’s confirmation of charges hearing.
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What is the background in the Central African Republic to these cases?   How did the ICC become involved in the Central African Republic? Who are Alfred Yékatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona? When did Yékatom and Ngaïssona first face…
Alfred Yékatom, left, and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, right, taken on Nov. 23, 2018 and Jan. 25, 2019 respectively when they appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
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Who is Dominic Ongwen? What is the Lord’s Resistance Army? How did the ICC come to bring charges against Ongwen? What are the charges against Ongwen? How does Ongwen’s experience as a child soldier affect judicial proceedings against…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
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ICC Rules Trial of Militia Leaders Can Proceed

On December 11, the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for Central African Republic militia leaders Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona and Alfred Yekatom. While they can appeal the…
Anti-Balaka fighters in Gambo, Mboumou province, Central African Republic, on August 16, 2017.
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Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
News

Special Criminal Court Critical to Accountability for Past Crimes

“Our brothers, who have attacked us, must be brought to justice,” a victim of the violence in the Central African Republic told me last week in the country’s capital Bangui. “Justice counteracts this culture of violence… It…
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Arrest of Former Militia Leader a Welcome Step

On December 12, Patrice Edouard Ngaissona, a one-time self-declared political coordinator of anti-balaka militias, was arrested in France on International Criminal Court (ICC) charges. With his arrest, the prospects for justice for grave crimes committed…
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Special Criminal Court will try War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

Governments across Africa should take note of developments in the Central African Republic to deliver justice to victims of grave crimes committed in the country. The Special Criminal Court (SCC), established in 2015, is a…
Congolese Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (R) and the five other judges of the Special Criminal Court (SCC)
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The Stories From People With Disabilities Who Have Endured Humanitarian crises

Simplice – Central African Republic The frustration burned in Simplice Lenguy’s eyes as he spoke about the situation faced by people with disabilities since conflict erupted in the Central African Republic. In…
Ali, a 22-year-old Afghan asylum seeker with a disability, living in Moria camp, on the beach in Lesbos, Greece. He told Human Rights Watch he can’t access showers in the camp and sometimes tries to wash himself in the sea.
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New Court Can Help End Impunity

Last month I visited Bakala, a town in the center of the Central African Republic where serious fighting between two rebel groups had recently claimed at least 38 lives. A few brave residents showed me a well where seven bodies had been dumped. Nearby, we…
Bullet casings on the ground in Bakala, Central African Republic, after fighting between the UPC and FPRC in December 2016. Photo taken on January 22, 2017.
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On March 30, president-elect Faustin-Archange Touadera will take office in the Central African Republic. His task, to quell the brutal sectarian violence that has torn his country apart, got even harder in recent weeks. Renewed violence in and around…
Machete used in the reprisal killing of two men 6 kilometers outside of Bambari, Central African Republic, on March 4, 2016.
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As the African Union summit closed on January 31, 2016, Kenyan media ignited with reports that the African Union endorsed mass withdrawal of African countries from the International Criminal Court. But the reality is a lot less newsworthy than the main…
A general view shows delegates during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 31, 2016.
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1.     Who is Joseph Kony and what is the Lord’s Resistance Army? 2.    What is the LRA fighting for? 3.    How big is the LRA? 4.    Does the LRA target children? 5.    How many people have been affected by the long war with the LRA? 6.    Where is Kony…
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More than 50 million viewers of the Kony 2012 viral video now know that Joseph Kony, founder and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is a wanted man with the blood of many on his hands. Human Rights Watch has spent years investigating the horrors…
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On Monday, November 22, 2010, in The Hague, judges of Trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court (ICC) will begin hearing evidence in the trial against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, a former vice president of Congo, rebel leader, and leader of…
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