Three militiamen have been convicted by a special court in the Central African Republic of war crimes committed in 2019 in the north-west of the country.
Issa Sallet Adoum and Ousman Yaouba were jailed for 20 years each, while Tahir Mahamat received a life sentence for killing dozens of civilians in north-western CAR in 2019.
The three convicted were members of the 3R rebel group that was formed in 2015 during the sectarian conflict in the CAR.
Monday’s ruling is a historic conviction by the Special Criminal Court that was established in Bangui four years ago to prosecute war crimes committed in the CAR since 2003.
The ruling, however, is a long way from deterring deadly violence by dozens of militia groups active in the country.
Despite being pushed back by the army – backed by Russian mercenaries – vast parts of the mineral-rich country remain under rebel control.
Several other militia leaders are facing war crimes cases at the Hague-based International Criminal Court over the CAR’s civil war.
A 2019 peace deal between the CAR government and key rebel groups unravelled when the latter mounted an insurrection to remove President Faustin Touadéra from power. (Source: BBC)