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Ex-C.A.R rebel leader to appear before ICC for war crimes

Ugandan soldiers under African Union command patrol as part of a mission to combat Lords Resistance Army rebels in Obo, Central African Republic on May 11, 2014.   -  
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Central African Republic

An ex-Central African Republic rebel leader is to appear for the first time before the International Criminal Court on Thursday.

Mahamat Said Abdel Kani is facing war crimes and crimes against humanity charges.

The ex-militia commander, was arrested in Bria region and handed over to the ICC on Sunday by officials in the Central African Republic.

Presiding judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala will use Thursday's session to verify Kani's identity and the language he prefers to use in following proceedings.

The ex-rebel leader will then be informed of the charges against him and his rights under the ICC Rome Statute.

A limited number of people will be allowed in the courtroom due to Covid-19 health measures.

But the session will be broadcast live on the ICC website in French, English and Sango, the official and primary language in the CAR.

The ICC issued a warrant of arrest for Mohamat Said Abdel Kani on 7 January 2019.

He is alleged to have committed the crimes in 2013 in Bangui, after the ouster of President François Bozize.

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