France hands CAR war crimes suspect to ICC


A Central African Republic soccer executive and alleged militia leader was transferred by France to the International Criminal Court on Wednesday.

Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona was held on an ICC arrest warrant on December 12 and a French court authorised his hand over to the ICC late last month.

ICC prosecutors accuse Ngaissona of war crimes and crimes against humanity including murder, extermination, deportation, persecution, torture, attacking civilians, and recruiting child soldiers.

He has been described by prosecutors as the “senior leader” of the mostly Christian anti-balaka militia that carried out systematic attacks on the Muslim population in 2013-2014.

Ngaissona, elected as a top executive of Africa’s football governing body CAF, denies the charges.

The Central African Republic has been mired by inter-communal violence since a coalition of mostly northern rebels known as Seleka seized power in March 2013. Their brutal rule gave rise to the anti-balaka militia.

The ICC is investigating crimes committed by all parties in the conflict.

In November, Alfred Yekatom, another leader of the anti-balaka militia and a sitting member of the country’s parliament, was handed to the ICC.