The Forum of Participation of NGOs, meeting on 10-12 November 2007, in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo,
Considering the armed conflict raging in North-West CAR since 2006, between the Central African Army and rebel groups, in particular in the regions of Ouham and Ouham Pende;
Considering the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated by parties to the conflict, in particular by governmental forces, against the civilian population, including summary executions, rape and other forms of sexual violence, systematic looting, and burning of villages.
Noting the precarious humanitarian situation of the civilian population, an estimated 212,000 individuals having been forcibly displaced as a result of fighting, and more than 70,000 persons having been forced to take refuge in neighbouring Chad and Cameroon;
Considering the threats and harassment suffered by human rights defenders who condemn this situation;
Noting that the majority of the actors in the current conflict are those suspected to have been responsible for the most serious crimes committed against the civilian populations during the attempted coup led by Bozize in 2002 and the subsequent coup d’Etat in March 2003, a blatant demonstration of the grave consequences of impunity.
Considering that the Court of Cassation of CAR decided on April 11, 2006 that the national justice system was « unable » to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed in 2002 and 2003 in CAR and called for the intervention of the International Criminal Court (ICC); and considering that the CAR authorities referred this situation to the ICC in December 2004;
Considering the decision of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on 22 May 2007 to open an investigation on the most serious crimes committed in CAR in 2002 and 2003 and to continue his analysis of the current situation;
The NGO Forum requests the ACHPR to adopt a Resolution:
1. Condemning the serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed by the parties to the conflict against the civilian population in CAR;
2. Demanding all parties to the conflict:
a. To respect fully international human rights and humanitarian law;
b. To adopt and implement an immediate cease fire on the entire territory;
c. To facilitate the work of humanitarian organisations and their free access to the North of the country;
d. To continue and reinforce to reach an effective peace agreement in accordance with international law;
3. Calling on CAR authorities:
a. To ensure that all perpetrators of the most serious crimes are prosecuted in accordance with their international obligations;
b. To cooperate with the International Criminal Court;
c. To protect IDPs and to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid;
d. To implement and reinforce psychological and medical support for the victims of crimes and provide reparation;
e. To take all necessary measures to facilitate the voluntary return of internally displaced persons to their original locations;
f. To respect fully the physical and psychological integrity of human rights defenders and all rights set out in the 1998 UN Assembly General Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders;
g. To authorise the visits of the ACHPR Special Rapporteurs on the Rights of Women in Africa and on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons.
Done in Brazzaville, November 12th, 2007