[JURIST] The transitional council in Central African Republic (CAR) announced on Monday that it has adopted a constitution that will help create a new government for the country to help combat many years of turbulence and social unrest. The constitution must now pass a referendum on October 5, which will be followed by legislative and presidential elections on October 18, including a second round set for October 22. Chaos erupted in the CAR in 2013 after Muslim Seleka rebels took over the country resulting in Christian militia driving hundreds of Muslims from the south. The transitional council, in charge of passing the constitution on Sunday with an overwhelming majority, was organized under interim President Catherine Samba-Panza [BBC backgrounder] in an effort to foster newly organized elections on the country. The council includes a Senate, a National Election Authority, and a body focused on good governance standards.
Violence and civil unrest have persisted in the CAR for the past several years, escalating after the predominately Muslim-based Seleka rebels ousted the government of Bozize in March 2013. In April, the current government of the Central African Republic, the National Transition Council, voted to create [JURIST report] a Special Criminal Court. In January members of a UN investigatory commission reported that crimes against humanity have been widely committed by all parties to the conflict in the CAR and called for the establishment of an international court [JURIST report] to objectively investigate and prosecute perpetrators of these crimes. Earlier in January the UN reported that the acts committed in the CAR constituted war crimes [JURIST report] and crimes against humanity but not genocide.