Alleged Seleka rebel commander, Mahamat Said Abdel Kani appears for the first time in front of the ICC since being handed over by Central African Republic authorities on January 24. He is suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed in Bangui (CAR) in 2013.
The detention comes with the Central African Republic again in turmoil. The central African Republic declared a 15-day state of emergency on January 21 as armed groups tried to blockade the capital Bangui in a bid to topple newly re-elected President Faustin-Archange Touadera.
The self-styled Coalition of Patriots for Change – a grouping of six militia – has threatened to over-run the city. Its fighters struck at Bangui’s outskirts on January 13 but were beaten back. Officials fear the CPC now has fighters inside the city, preparing more attacks.
The state of emergency allows security forces to make arrests without going through the usual prosecution procedures.
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