The International Criminal Court said on Thursday that it had released a former militia leader in the Central African Republic and is dropping all charges against him.

Maxime Mokom had faced charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity over alleged atrocities committed against Muslim civilians in the CAR by his self-proclaimed self-defence militias in 2013 and 2014.

The ICC's prosecutor Karim Khan said his office had concluded there were "no longer any reasonable prospects of conviction even if the charges were confirmed".

He said the decision was taken after considering all the evidence and "changed circumstances regarding the availability of witnesses".

Mokom, who was released on Tuesday, has denied all involvement in the bloodshed, telling ICC judges in August he was "dedicated to the search for peace".

The charges Mokom had faced included directing attacks against the civilian population, murder, rape and pillage.

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