Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official websites], released a statement [text] on Wednesday expressing her concern over the deteriorating security situation in the Central African Republic (CAR). Bensouda called upon the international community to assist the CAR government in enhancing security and protecting civilians. Bensouda also reiterated the commitment of her office to prosecuting war crimes. Bensouda relied upon findings from the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) in determining that the crimes currently being committed in CAR, including attacks against civilians, murder, rape and recruitment of child soldiers, fall within the ICC prosecutor's jurisdiction.
The CAR has experienced significant violence since the Seleka rebel coalition [WorldWideConflict profile] ousted president Francous Bozize in March. On Monday a panel of UN human rights experts expressed their concern [JURIST report] over the situation in the CAR. Earlier this month the UN Assistant Secetary-General for Human Rights held a press conference where he urged the international community [JURIST report] to remember the fragile state of the CAR. In June the CAR issued an arrest warrant [JURIST report] for ousted president Bozize. In May Human Rights Watch (HRW) [official website] reported that members of the Seleka rebel coalition have committed rights violations [JURIST report] in the CAR.