Central African Republic Special Criminal Court issues arrest warrant against former president News
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Central African Republic Special Criminal Court issues arrest warrant against former president

The Special Criminal Court (SCC) announced on Tuesday an arrest warrant against the former president of the Central African Republic (CAR), François Bozizé. The arrest warrant was issued in February and alleged crimes against humanity, such as murder, enforced disappearances, torture and rape. The former president allegedly committed these crimes while acting as a superior civilian and military leader.

Bozizé currently resides in Guinea Bissau. Amnesty International has called on the country to arrest him without delay and transfer him to CAR authorities so that he can be brought before the court. The organization stated that at least 25 arrest warrants have been issued by the SCC against war crimes suspects, who are still at large.

CAR has witnessed waves of violence and armed conflicts since 2002, resulting in numerous international law violations being committed with impunity. The SCC, a hybrid court created in 2015 operating in partnership with the UN, seeks to fight against impunity for crimes under international law and human rights violations committed in the country since the start of the conflict. In December 2020 a new presidential election took place, resulting in a period of renewed violence. With very few of the alleged war criminals arrested, prosecuted or tried for these numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity, the SCC is having difficulties with fulfilling its function, according to Amnesty International.

It is not the first time that there’s been an arrest warrant against the former president. In 2014 an international warrant was issued against him for murder, arrest, arbitrary detention and torture, kidnapping, judicial and extrajudicial executions. Bozizé seized power in 2003 in a coup, before being overthrown and forced into exile in 2013.