“The population of CAR has clearly called for an end to impunity, and the CAR authorities have recently taken positive steps by establishing a new court to prosecute those suspected of crimes under international law. Ensuring that a new constitution builds on this progress, rather than undermining it, would be a valuable legacy for the transitional authorities to leave.”
While CAR’s current Criminal Code appears to outlaw immunity for those suspected of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, the draft constitution fails to prevent future parliaments from introducing immunity laws for these and other crimes.
In an open letter to the transitional authorities Amnesty International warns that justice must be at the heart of the reconciliation process, including by opening investigations on anyone suspected of serious human rights violations and supporting the newly created Special Criminal Court.
In a set of recommendations to forum delegates, Amnesty International also states that the Constitution should recognize that international law, including treaties ratified by CAR and customary international law, should be considered as superior to domestic legislation and the Constitution, in compliance with the Vienna Convention of the Law of the Treaties, to which CAR is a state party.
In nationwide grassroots consultations in advance of the Bangui Forum, ordinary citizens repeatedly said that without justice there will be no chance of reconciliation