War crime suspect from Central African Republic surrendered to International Criminal Court
The Hague [Netherlands], January 25 (ANI/Sputnik): The Central African Republic (CAR) has surrendered a suspected war criminal to the International Criminal Court (ICC), according to the court's statement.
"Today, 24 January 2021, Mr Mahamat Said Abdel Kani, also known as 'Mahamat Said Abdel Kain' and 'Mahamat Said Abdelkani' ('Mr Said'), was surrendered to the International Criminal Court ("ICC" or "the Court") by the authorities of the Central African Republic ('CAR') on account of an ICC warrant of arrest issued under seal on 7 January 2019. Mr Said is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Bangui (CAR) in 2013," the statement reads.
Among Said's purported crimes are torture, persecution, enforced disappearance and cruel treatment - all committed during his alleged service as a commander for the Seleka rebel Islamist group during the armed struggle against former CAR President Francois Bozize and his supporters from the Anti-Balaka movement from 2013-2014.
"Mr Said is suspected of having committed these crimes jointly with others and/or through others or ordered, solicited or induced these crimes or aided, abetted or otherwise assisted in the commission of these crimes; or in any other way contributed to the commission or these crimes," the court added.
The accused will present himself before the judge of Pre-Trial Chamber II in due course.
The security situation in the CAR has deteriorated since a 2013 coup, after which fighting took place between Muslim-majority Seleka and Christian Anti-Balaka militias. In February 2019, the government and the leaders of 14 armed groups struck a peace deal to put an end to the long-lasting conflict. At present, the government has yet to regain control of large swathes of territory.
In December, the country held a presidential election.
The country's Constitutional Council court invalidated Francois Bozize, the main rival of the incumbent president, from running on "morality grounds," and confirmed President Faustin-Archange Touadera's victory in the election, with 53.9 percent of the vote in the first round. (ANI/Sputnik)