By Aluta News
Aug 22, 2023
International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors are accusing a former Central African Republic militia leader of war crimes and crimes against humanity, in proceedings that began in The Hague on Tuesday.
Maxime Jeoffroy said to have played a central role in the violence carried out between 2013 and 2014 in his homeland, prosecutor Mame Mandiaye Niang told a pre-trial ICC hearing, expected to last three days.
The ICC judges must now decide whether there is sufficient evidence to open a trial.
The 44-year-old suspect allegedly “coordinated” attacks against Muslim citizens and “provided rebels with ammunition.”
The accused, also nicknamed Eli Mokom was accused of war crimes including directing attacks against the civilian population, murder, torture, forced deportation, looting and rape.
The armed conflict in the Central African Republic has pitted the predominantly Muslim Selaka rebels against the Christian anti-Balaka movement.
These groups allegedly attacked and terrorised the Muslim population in the Bangui region.
Thousands of people have been killed in the fighting and, according to UN estimates, over a million have been displaced.
The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the world.
The accused, nicknamed “Mr Mokom,” was detained in Chad in March 2022 and handed over to the ICC.
The suspect denies all charges and has said that he had worked for peace in his homeland.
He justified the violence as “self-defence” after bloody attacks by the opposing Selaka militia.
There are two other anti-Balaka leaders and a Selaka leader also facing trials in connection with the violence in the Central African Republic.