ICC prosecutor issues warning on C.Africa bloodshed
The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor on Wednesday called for sectarian bloodshed in the Central African Republic to stop, warning any war crimes committed will be punished.
"I urge all individuals and groups in the Central African Republic engaged in these clashes... to immediately cease and desist the violence," Fatou Bensouda said in a statement issued by the prosecutor's office.
"I warn those alleged to be committing crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court that they can be held individually accountable."
At least 36 people have been killed in the capital Bangui in sectarian violence sparked by the murder on Saturday of a Muslim motor-taxi driver in the flashpoint PK-5 district of the city. Some 27,400 people have fled their homes.
In 2013 and early last year, the area was the epicentre of an unprecedented sectarian conflict pitting Christians against Muslims.
The latest violence raised fears of a return to the conflict that erupted in CAR after president Francois Bozize, a Christian, was ousted in March 2013 by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels, triggering the worst crisis since independence from France in 1960.
A UN expert warned Wednesday that the country could descend into civil war unless the situation is brought under control.
Bensouda opened a formal probe a year ago into what she termed an "endless list" of atrocities in the Central African Republic since mid-2012.
© 2015 AFP