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In 2021, the Central African Republic created the Truth, Justice, Reparation and Reconciliation Commission (CVJRR) to establish the truth, pursue justice, and restore victims’ dignity, with a view to ultimately achieving national reconciliation. In this fragile country, battered by successive episodes of violence, justice, in its broadest sense, has always been and remains a lifelong demand of victims. After a lengthy operationalization phase, the CVJRR is now finally getting ready to start registering and hearing victims’ testimonies. The first step in this process is statement taking, which requires taking several key factors into account to be successful.

After seven years of waiting for the UN-backed Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic to begin operations, victims of the country’s civil war had hoped to finally see the first tangible step toward justice on April 25 when the first trial opened in the capital Bangui. The trial was initially set to begin on April 19, 2022, but was abruptly postponed when the defense attorneys failed to show up in an apparent boycott over their wages. When the defense lawyers returned to court on April 25, they immediately requested an adjournment, which was granted, and the trial was postponed again until May 16. It is very likely that this incessant postponement will further deflate already diminished confidence among victims in the SCC’s ability to deliver justice.