Central African Republic
Practice Relating to Rule 159. Amnesty
Section A. Amnesty for participation in non-international armed conflicts
The Central African Republic’s Amnesty Law (2008) states:
Art.1: Amnestied are, in the entire national territory, all offences being prosecuted by national jurisdictions and committed by:
- Members of the Defence and Security Forces, civilian and military authorities in the context of law enforcement and territorial defence operations from 15 March 2003 until the date of the promulgation of this law [14 October 2008];
- Civilian and military elements that took part in the events that provoked the changes of 15 March 2003 starting with the launch [of these events] until the promulgation of this Law;
- Leaders and members of politico-military groups present on the national territory or in exile, starting on 15 March 2003 until the date of the promulgation of this Law, for offences against national security and defence and other related offences;
- Misters Ange Félix PATASSE, Jean-Jacques DEMAFOUTH, Martin KOUMTAMADJI, their co-authors and accomplices, for misappropriation of public funds, murder and aiding and abetting murder.
Art.3: The Amnesty results in the remission of all principal, accessory and complementary sentences as well as all other incapacities or forfeitures.
The Law also states:
Art.5: If a subsequent offence is committed, (irrespective of the offence) the effects of the present Law will be automatically wiped out in relation to the persons concerned.
Art.6: … the beneficiaries of this Amnesty Law, directly or indirectly implicated in sponsoring the spread of violence and military actions by rebel groups, are under the obligation to put an end to violence, order an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, order the restitution of all arms and weaponry by combatants, and order them to submit to mechanisms of confinement, disarmament and reorientation within sixty (60) days starting from the date of the promulgation [of this law]. [If they do not do so, beneficiaries will incur the possible annulment of this law.]
Art.7: Excluded from the benefits of this Amnesty Law are:
- The elements or rebel groups that refused demobilization and the confinement of troops;
- Those who refused to return or who concealed or aimed to conceal arms, munitions and weaponry;
- Those who refused or attempted to refuse following the instructions of the established authorities;
- Those having voluntarily committed or attempted to commit theft, rape, pillage, arson, voluntary destruction, sabotage, [or having imposed or tried to impose] barriers to the freedom of movement;
- Those who voluntarily committed or attempted to commit murder, attacked or tried to do harm, executed or attempted to execute acts of violence, threats, torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or any other damage to the physical or moral integrity of individuals and property.
The Law further states: “This Amnesty Law is applicable in its entirety to all the civil and military members and leaders of the previously identified politico-military groups, and to those having formally adhered to the current peace process.”
In Article 2 of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of the Central African Republic and the Armée Populaire pour la Restauration de la Démocratie (APRD), Front Démocratique du Peuple Centrafricain (FDPC) and Union des Forces Démocratiques pour le Rassemblement (UFDR), the parties agreed to
[t]he promulgation of a law of general amnesty with regard to the soldiers, combatants and civilians of the politico-military movements of APRD, FDPC and UFDR for crimes and offences prosecuted under national Central African jurisdiction.