UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes the completion of the first trial of the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic (CAR), hailing it as a milestone in the country’s efforts to bring to justice those committing serious crimes, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.
In its judgment issued on Monday, the Special Criminal Court found three accused armed group members guilty of certain crimes against humanity and war crimes following their involvement in the May 2019 massacre of 46 civilians in Lemouna and Koundjili, in the northwest of the country, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson, said in a statement.
The three were sentenced to prison terms from 20 years to life, and the judgment is subject to appeal, the statement added.
Guterres “notes that this trial is a milestone in the Central African Republic’s efforts to bring to justice those responsible for serious crimes, which is crucial for fighting impunity, breaking cycles of violence and contributing to transitional justice,” the statement said.
The secretary-general called on member states to continue to provide support to the Special Criminal Court to ensure continuity of its operations, and on the CAR government to promptly renew the court’s mandate, it said. ■