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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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While eyes were fixed on elections in the United States last week, a president in Europe resigned to face trial for atrocity crimes committed more than 20 years ago. Kosovo’s Specialist Prosecutor’s Office formally charged President…
Then-President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi during a press conference in Kosovo capital Pristina on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019.  ©2019 Visar Kryeziu/AP Photo
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Russian and Central African Authorities Have Put Little Effort Into Finding the Perpetrators

In July 2018, three Russian journalists, Orkhan Dzhemal, Alexander Rastorguyev and Kirill Radchenko set off to the Central African Republic to film a documentary on the alleged presence of a Russian private military company. After they arrived in…
Flowers are placed by portraits of slain journalists Alexander Rastorguyev, Kirill Radchenko, and Orkhan Dzhemal, at the Russian Journalists’ Union building in Moscow on August 1, 2018.
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At the peak of the Covid-19 infections, on April 30, the Serbian government published data that 574 people living in residential care institutions, including those for people with disabilities, had been infected with the virus. More recent numbers…
A room in the Veternik Institution for children and adults with disabilities where 540 persons, including children with disabilities live. Up to eight people live in one room. © 2015 Emina Ćerimović for Human Rights Watch
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I can’t stop thinking about Marie. She was 30 years old when I met her in 2015. Two years earlier, six fighters armed with rifles and machetes burst into her home in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui. Two of the fighters held her…
Josephine, 28, said she fled her home in Bangui with her husband and five young children due to fighting in the city in October 2014. When she returned to her neighborhood to collect clothes and dishes for the family, three anti-balaka stopped her and t
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There is no doubt a peace deal could be transformative for the Central African Republic. Armed groups control 80 percent of the territory. Tens of thousands of people languish in internal displacement camps in the center of the country…
Anti-Balaka fighters in Gambo, Mboumou province, Central African Republic, on August 16, 2017.
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In an op-ed, Human Rights Watch calls on the pan-African organization to release its report on the 2014 killings in Boali

  At the beginning of a brutal civil war in the Central African Republic, in 2012, African Union (AU) peacekeepers were deployed to try to stop attacks on civilians and bring stability to the country, in a mission…
Twelve skulls discovered in a mass grave in February 2016 near a peacekeeping base in Boali, Central African Republic. The victims are believed to be individuals who were summarily executed by Republic of Congo peacekeepers on March 24, 2014.
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As children across Serbia enjoy their summer break, for some children the next school year can’t start soon enough. It may be their first chance to get an education. The Serbian government formally pledged in June that all children with…
Marina  [pseudonym], a 4-year-old girl with developmental disabilities who spent ten months of her life in an institution, with her foster sister. © 2015 Jasenko Rasol for Human Rights Watch
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The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
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On February 6, the European Commission will present its new strategy for the enlargement of the EU. People in the Western Balkans may greet the news with scepticism. But if the EU institutions and states are really willing to end the EU…
Roma refugees from Kosovo drink water at the Vrela Ribnicka camp in Podgorica, Montenegro on October 13, 2012
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The groundbreaking court brought many of the war's worst criminals to justice, but more is needed to heal the region's deep divisions.

Hundreds of men buried alive, men and women mutilated and slaughtered, children killed before their mothers’ eyes, a grandfather forced to eat the liver of his own grandson. These are truly scenes from hell, written on the darkest pages of human…
A woman writes in a book inside a traveling monument called 'Prijedor 92' outside the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal (ICTY)
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Back in 2014, when the Central African Republic was on the world’s radar, the United Nations stepped up and sent peacekeepers to take over from an African-Union-led mission there as an effort to avoid a deepening human rights and…
A man from the Paris-Congo neighborhood of Alindao, Basse-Kotto province, Central African Republic, with his children at the displacement camp in town, August 27, 2017.
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When an armed group attacked “Irène’s” home in the Central African Republic, fighters shot her husband in both legs as he tried to flee, and tied their five-year-old daughter to a post when she began to cry. “Irène,” 36, held her palms over her eyes as…
Angèle, 27 ans, serre son enfant dans ses bras à Bangui, en République centrafricaine. Les combattants de la Séléka ont tué son mari et ses parents, avant de la capturer près de Bambari en juin 2014, a-t-elle raconté. Ils l’ont détenue en tant qu’esclave
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Violence in the Central African Republic has fallen from the world's radar, but that does not mean the conflict is over

Last month, I sat down with Monica, a 30-year-old polio survivor in Bambari, a war-torn town in the Central African Republic. She was living in a displacement camp after intense fighting forced her to flee the town of Bakala, 110 kilometers away. “…
A displacement camp in Grimali, Central African Republic, for people fleeing violence in the vicinity of Bakala, Ouaka province. Photo taken on January 24, 2017.
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One year ago, a rare feeling of hope took hold in the Central African Republic as the new president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, was sworn in. His administration replaced a transition government that struggled to establish security and…
President Faustin Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic addresses the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 23, 2016.
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The day I met Julija she was playing cheerfully with her baby sister on the floor inside their room in Kragujevac, a small town in southern Serbia. When she saw me – a stranger — on the doorstep, she smiled widely and stretched out her hands, offering a…
Julija Čuković, who spent ten months of her life in an institution, at home in Kragujevac with her parents, where she enjoys to play with her younger sister, also in the photo. © 2016 Zoran Stamenković