Sexual violence has been recognised as a core component of the conflicts in the Central African Republic and, along with pillaging and murder, was utilised to forcefully move populations. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, it included gang rapes, rapes in public and in front of family members, and sexual enslavement of women and girls perceived as being associated with the military opponent. Reportedly, sexual violence has been committed by both Séléka and anti-Balaka fighters.
Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ) welcomes the confirmation of charges against Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona. Among the confirmed charges is rape and attempted rape as a war crime and a crime against humanity, the only sexual violence crimes charged in this case. While noting that the inclusion of charges of all forms of sexual violence is important for recognition of its victims and survivors, WIGJ is confident that the trial against the two suspects will continue to build the ICC jurisprudence on sexual and gender based violence.