By RFIPubliée le 19-09-2019Modified on 19-09-2019 at 04:45

From this Thursday until 27 September, the judges of the International Criminal Court will consider the charges brought by the prosecutor against former anti-balaka leaders Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona and Alfred Yekatom. Both men are suspected of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

With our correspondent in The Hague, Stéphanie Maupas

The two Central Africans are suspected of murder, extermination, deportation, torture, persecution, enforced disappearances, attacks on civilians and against mosques. A long list of crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the 2013 and 2014 conflict between the Seleka and the anti-balaka, the militia to which the two suspects belonged.

During these hearings, the issue for the prosecutor will be to convince the judges to put the two suspects on trial. Because the two men are not yet on trial: these hearings aim to confirm or not the charges against them.

Described as the highest leader of the anti-balaka, Patrice Ngaissona was arrested in France in December 2018 and joined Alfred Yekatom a few weeks later in the ICC prison.

The hon. Member almost fell by chance into the prosecutor's purse. In Bangui, in full session of the National Assembly, he had released his revolver before ending up in prison and then on a plane to The Hague in November 2018. During the war, he would have taken the head of a battalion closely of 3,000 men, according to the prosecution, sowing terror and targeting Muslims.

The two suspects are the first Central Africans to appear before the court . But the prosecutor continues her investigation opened in 2014 at the request of Bangui. At the end of these hearings, scheduled until September 27, the judges will have sixty days to deliberate.

Former anti-Abalaka militia leader Alfred Yekatom Rombhot, nicknamed "Rambo", is appearing for the first time before the ICC on Friday, December 23, 2018. © REUTERS / Piroschka van de Wouw / Pool

Live broadcast in the media

The Central African authorities have asked the national public media to retransmit this hearing. One way, assures the spokesman of the government Ange-Maxime Kazagui, to allow the Central Africans to better understand what happened and move towards reconciliation.

" We are waiting for the charges to be clearly established and for Central Africans, those who are waiting for the truth and justice, to be edified. We want Central Africans to hear, listen, watch, be informed. What happened ? Are they really guilty? What did they do ? Are they the only ones to have done it? It's moving towards understanding what happened to Central Africans. It is therefore efforts towards peace. "

The minister notes, however, as do many fellow citizens, that for the moment it is the anti-balaka who are judged through these two men. The Seleka have not yet been held accountable by international justice. " We also need equity. Central Africans believe that there has been a lot of effort to get justice done but want it to be fair. That there is not one camp rather than another. We believe that the movement that is moving forward is in this sense. "

When they arrived, there was a lot of mess. There were killings, they did things that are not good. They point to people's houses. There is a lot of mess and a lot of deaths in the neighborhood. There is a lot of suffering, I could not bear. I could not stand this. That's why I was forced to flee.

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