International court to look into Central African Republic crime allegations - prosecutor

by Reuters
Friday, 7 February 2014 15:40 GMT

Giovanni Mougounou, 10, who lost both legs in April 2013 to what his family said was a rocket-propelled grenade launched by Seleka fighters on a church, crawls on the ground close to his home in the capital Bangui February 4, 2014. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

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The plight of civilians in Central African Republic "has gone from bad to worse," says International Criminal Court prosecutor

AMSTERDAM, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court will open a preliminary examination into crimes allegedly committed during the conflict in the Central African Republic, the court's prosecutor said in a statement on Friday.

"The plight of civilians in CAR since September 2012 has gone from bad to worse," said prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in a statement, adding that some victims of crimes, which included alleged killings and acts of rape and sexual slavery, appeared to have been singled out on religious grounds.

The court has had a separate investigation under way in the country since 2007. The preliminary examination announced on Friday could proceed to a second investigation if prosecutors find evidence strong enough to justify it. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Alison Williams)