The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has been involved in supporting the return of the remains of victims of alleged atrocity crimes in the Central African Republic (CAR). These remains were recovered during recent exhumations in the country, which were conducted in collaboration between the OTP, national authorities, and international partners.
The OTP has been conducting exhumations and forensic examinations as part of its investigations into crimes committed in CAR during the 2013 conflict. This work has been made possible through partnerships with organizations such as the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team and the Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic.
The effort has involved deploying more than 20 technical experts to CAR, including archaeologists, pathologists, odontologists, anthropologists, ballistic experts, and morgue technicians.
ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan KC emphasized the importance of returning human remains to families as a crucial step in the process of human identification and as a tangible outcome of delivering justice. He expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and communities and highlighted the fundamental right of families to know the fate and whereabouts of their missing loved ones.
The OTP’s support for the identification and return of victims’ remains is part of a broader range of assistance that the Office is providing to CAR authorities, including the Special Criminal Court established to address alleged international crimes committed in the country.
The OTP expressed its gratitude to its partners, as well as national and local CAR authorities, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and other collaborators who facilitated this important work. This effort not only contributes to justice but also provides closure and peace to the families affected by these alleged atrocities.