ICC prosecutor warns as Central African rebels advance

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International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda warned on Friday that the court will "not hesitate" to investigate alleged crimes committed in the Central African Republic, where rebels were advancing on the capital Bangui.

"I am deeply concerned about reports of the worsening situation in the Central African Republic and allegations of the commission of serious crimes," Bensouda said in a statement issued from The Hague.

"My office will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute all those alleged to have committed these crimes," said Bensouda, adding "the commission of crimes in the CAR must cease forthwith".

Forces belonging to the Seleka rebel coalition, which first launched an uprising in December after a peace accord collapsed, said on Friday they intended entering Bangui.

The peace agreement brokered by regional countries was agreed in January but rebels say it has not been carried out.

The UN Security Council late Friday called emergency consultations and were to meet shortly to discuss the escalation.

A Security Council statement agreed Wednesday expressed "strong concern" over mounting tensions in the vast African nation and also "condemned the attacks conducted recently by the rebels from the Seleka coalition".

© 2013 AFP

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