- The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, will on Thursday travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) to open investigation into allegations of massive crimes.
Prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo is due to meet victims, representatives of civil society and local population in the capital Bangui. He is also expected to partake in public dialogue, meet senior government officials, discuss with people throughout the country as well as answer media queries.
“Hundreds of terrified women have been subjected to the ordeal of sexual violence” the Prosecutor said in a statement.
“We hear of gang rapes, mass rapes, horrific sexual acts being inflicted on women, young girls, the elderly, in some cases on men,“ he said, assuring that perpetrators of acts of massive violence in CAR and elsewhere will be held accountable and prosecuted by the ICC.
The Office of the Prosecutor announced the opening of the investigation in CAR on 22 May 2007. The probe deals with crimes that were mainly committed during the 2002/2003 violence. Allegations of high number of rape and other acts form the cream of the investigation.
Moreno-Ocampo said since 2005 his office has been monitoring acts of violence committed in the northern part of the CAR.
“The people of Central African Republic need to know the world has not forgotten them” the Prosecutor said.
“Our investigative activities in CAR can bring to the attention of the international community the terrible problems facing the people here and the need to address them urgently. We need comprehensive solutions for CAR and the support of all. International justice is one part of the solution.”
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