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Central African Republic rebel commander appears before ICC

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ALEXIS HUGUET/AFP or licensors

ICC

Former Central African Republic rebel commander Mahamat Said Abdel Kani made his first appearance before the International Criminal Court on Friday .

Kani, 50, is suspected of committing crimes against humanity and war crimes including torture after the country spiralled into sectarian violence in 2013, following the ouster of former leader Francois Bozize.

The violence pitted the Seleka, a mainly Muslim-backed rebel coalition against mainly Christian vigilante self-defence groups known as anti-Balaka

He arrived at the Court's detention center in The Hague on Monday.

Friday's hearing was meant to verify Kani's identity and to notify him of the charges he's alleged to have committed. The hearing was held in the presence of the prosecutor and the defence.

A confirmation of charges hearing is expected to take place next Friday.

Two former Central African Republic warlords who led anti-Balaka militias are currently on trial at the ICC.