Court Martial is responsible for judging military or similar personnel. This is a first for this new jurisdiction, when justice and the fight against impunity were part of President Touadera’s campaign promises.
This will certainly be the first hearings for this court set up in the framework of the judicial reform on 24 March 2017. It consists of a judge in the professional legal system, assisted by four assessors from the army ranks or gendarmerie. According to the Penal Code, the penalty amounts to the death penalty, including imprisonment or forced labor.
Benoît Narcisse Fokpio is the government commissioner at the military courts in Bangui and he will represent the prosecution during these hearings. He explains that the public prosecutor’s office is preparing for this first deadline: “We will judge in criminal cases. some members of the armed forces, the gendarmerie or the national police who have committed blood crimes. We already have a dozen files that are well compiled by the investigating judges and that are just waiting to be recruited very soon. ”
For the Commissioner – General, this new jurisdiction should make it possible to contribute to the fight against impunity in the country: ‘ handle weapons in the field, in somewhat difficult operations. We are in a state governed by the rule of law, so everyone should be able to answer for their actions within the framework of various activities, in terms of accountability. When a crime is committed, the alleged perpetrators must be prosecuted. ”
In addition, in early May, a commission of inquiry was set up by the authorities to “highlight the alleged serious crimes” and human rights violations alleged to have been committed by the Central African Armed Forces and their Russian. The Court of War is awaiting the conclusions of the Commission’s work to decide whether or not to take up certain cases.