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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
News

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.
News

Habré was Convicted in Historic Trial in Senegal

Former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré died of Covid-19 on August 24 in Dakar, Senegal’s capital, where he was serving a life sentence for serious international crimes. He was held accountable following a landmark effort to ensure justice for his role…
A man in a white hat surrounded by soldiers
News

Five Years After Chadian Dictator’s Guilty Verdict, Victims Still Await Justice

Five years ago, on May 30, 2016, an African Union-backed court in Dakar, Senegal, convicted former Chadian dictator Hissène Habré of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, including sexual violence and rape. The court sentenced him to life…
Victims of former Chad dictator Hissène Habré demonstrate reparations
News

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.
News

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…
News

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…
News

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)
News

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.
News
Over 25 years ago, Souleymane Guengueng, a deeply religious civil servant who watched dozens of his cellmates succumb to torture and disease in Hissène Habré’s Chadian prisons, took an oath that if he ever got out of jail alive, he would bring his…
Hissène Habré
News
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.
News
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.
News
He stood up, he shouted, he waved his arms about... but everything he did just reminded everyone in the courtroom that he’s not in charge anymore and doesn’t call the shots. This morning saw the dramatic re-opening of the…
Clement Abaifouta, Souleymane Guengueng and Abdourahmane Guèye, stand outside of the courthouse where the trial of Hissène Habré will be held, on July 13, 2015 in Dakar, Senegal. The trial is set to begin on July 20, 2015. © 2015 Human Rights Watch
News
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…
News

Former dictator of Chad accused of using stolen wealth to stall hearing on atrocities charges

(N'Djamena)- Standing on a patch of disused land on the outskirts of Chad's capital N'Djamena, Clement Abaifouta surveys the view around him with tears in his eyes. "This is where we buried our fellow prisoners every day," he says, gesturing…
News
(London, UK)- Souleymane Guengueng had good reason to celebrate yesterday. His long march in search of justice from the Chadian dictator he accuses of torture could soon be over. Mr Guengueng, 53, wears thick glasses after almost losing his…