(Nairobi) – Members of a special anti-crime unit in the Central African Republic unlawfully executed at least 18 people and possibly more between April 2015 and March 2016, Human Rights Watch said today.
The former director of the unit, the Central Office for the Repression of Banditry (Office Central de Répression du Banditisme, OCRB), Robert Yékoua-Ketté, who was removed from his position on June 8, is directly implicated in 13 of the cases and should be investigated with a view to prosecuting him.
“The government was right to remove Yékoua-Ketté as the first step in addressing impunity, but residents saw him and his men kill people in broad daylight,” said Lewis Mudge, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Central Africans will not believe there can be rule of law and will live in fear of the OCRB unless the man they saw killing people faces justice.”
Of the 18 killings, witness testimony indicates that Yékoua-Ketté personally carried out one; ordered the execution of five; and was seen at the moment when seven men, who were later killed, were detained by the OCRB. READ MORE OF THIS REPORT