A French court rules CAF member Ngaissona can be extradited to The Hague

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019
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EYEAFRICA TV: Paris, FRANCE: Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee member Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona will face trial for war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague after France agreed to extradite him.

The CAF member, who is also President of the Central African Football Federation, was arrested in France on December 12 after a warrant issued by the ICC accused him of “alleged criminal responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the western part of the Central African Republic (CAR)”.

It is suspected he previously led a Christian anti-Balaka militia in the CAR, which carried out systematic attacks on Muslims in the country from 2013 to 2014.

The ICC say they have “reasonable grounds” to believe Ngaissona is guilty of crimes against humanity including murder, torture and the recruitment of child soldiers.

He denies all the allegations but will now be extradited to The Hague following the French court ruling.

He will be moved from a jail near Paris where he is currently being held.

Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona is accused of murder, torture and recruiting child soldiers while allegedly leading an anti-Muslim militia ©Getty Images

Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona is accused of murder, torture and recruiting child soldiers while allegedly leading an anti-Muslim militia ©Getty Images

His arrest came just weeks after another suspected militia leader – Alfred Yekatom – was detained in the CAR.

He has also been transferred to The Hague to face trial.

According to news website New Vision, Ngaissona said during a hearing on December 19 that he “brought peace” to the CAR and is not a warlord.

He has also previously said that “everything I’ve done has been for the good of the country”.

His arrest has reportedly prompted two groups within the anti-Balaka movement to pull out of a Government disarmament programme in the CAR, that had been due to start by the end of the year.

The groups said that Ngaissona’s detention undermined the ongoing peace process instigated by the African Union and indicated an “unfair disregard” for alleged crimes committed by the Muslim Seleka.

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