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  • Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona in his first court appearence January 2019

    Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona in his first court appearence January 2019 | Photo: africanews.com

Published 20 September 2019

Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona faces more than one hundred charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity against Muslims in the Central African Republic.

Former president of the Central African Football Federation, Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, is facing more than one hundred charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) due to his role as leader of the Christian militia "Anti-Balaka".

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The prosecution in Central African Republic (CAR) where the militia attacks were carried out, alleges that Ngaïssona implemented a plan from Cameroon, where he was in exile, to overthrow the government of the "Seleka." The Seleka were a coalition of mainly Muslim political and armed factions that came to power in March 2013 through a coup d'état.

Ngaïssona is said to have financed, supplied arms and given orders to the "Anti-Balaka" who murdered, deported and tortured Muslims and supporters of the "Seleka" between December 2013 and December 2014, according to the official indictment, with the intent to overthrown François Bozizé, CAR president from 2003 until 2013.

The prosecutor's office also said that Ngaïssona had the power to appoint the commanders of the "Anti-Balaka" militias.

Among the local leaders who carried out the attacks was Alfred Yekatom, or "Colonel Rambo", also on trial at the ICC for 21 war crimes and crimes against humanity.

According to his arrest warrant, Yekatom had 3,000 militiamen in his charge and exercised tight control over them. Like Ngaïssona, Yekatom said in the oral hearing said they understood the nature of the accusations they both face.

In the list of 111 war crimes and crimes against humanity that Ngaïssona faces, all committed by his order to paramilitary soldiers, the list includes attacks, murders, deportations, torture and sexual violations on the civilian population.

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