"Forgotten, stigmatised: double suffering of victims of international crimes"

Publication of a report of an investigative mission -
in French, soon available in English

On Thursday, 12 October 2006, FIDH presented the report of its most recent international investigative mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) in Bangui from 10 to 17 June 2006.

Since the end of 2005, a conflict reignited in the North of the country. In the North-western part of the country, the Central African armed forces are fighting the rebel army, l’armée populaire pour la restauration de la République, which is supported by former President Patassé, who was overthrown by a coup in 2003 and, in the North-east, by Central African and Chadian rebels, with some support from Sudan and the alleged criminals of the 2003 conflict.

There is compelling evidence of the extent of impunity in CAR and the guilty silence of the international community.

The civilian population is the main victim of this new cycle of violence, subjected to continuous assault by the belligerents, rebels and loyalists. This report condemns the double suffering of the victims of the conflicts in CAR, in particular the victims of rape systematically used as a weapon of war against women, men and children in the 2002/2003 conflict, and continues to be perpetrated. These victims of violent attacks on their physical and psychological integrity, often carrying HIV, suffer from stigmatisation within the Central African society and from the general indifference to their extreme physical, social and economic distress.

Abandoned by the CAR justice system, these victims nonetheless have had the courage to organise themselves and their hope now lies in international justice. But the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, having been informed by FIDH in 2003, and having received a referral from the Central African government at the end of 2004, has still failed to respond. FIDH reiterates its appeal to the ICC Prosecutor to immediately open an investigation on CAR, in order to fulfil the mandate of repression and prevention of the ICC.

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See the following FIDH reports:
 Report no. 355 "War Crimes in the Central African Republic", February 2003
 Report no. 382 "Quelle justice pour les victimes de crimes de guerre", February 2004
 Report no. 410 "The Political transition closes against a backdrop of impunity", February 2005.

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