ICC: Central African Republic suspects to face war crimes trial

War crimes suspect Alfred Yekatom, wanted for alleged murder, deportation and torture of Muslims in the Central African Republic, appears before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands November 23, 2018. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/Pool

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court said on Wednesday it has confirmed the charges brought by prosecutors against two men suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic.

The decision means Alfred Yekatom and alleged co-conspirator and Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, who have said they are innocent, will face trial, the court said in a statement.

It said there were “substantial grounds to believe” prosecution arguments that the men were responsible for crimes directed toward civilian populations including “murder, rape…deportation or forcible transfer of population and displacement of the civilian population.”

Prosecutors have said Ngaissona was one of the most senior leaders of Christian-dominated militias that carried out widespread attacks on the country’s Muslim population, while Yekatom was a commander in the same forces during fighting in 2013-2014.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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