French court clears extradition of CAR suspect
Publish date: 07 January 2019
Issue Number: 805
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
France will hand over an alleged African militia leader, Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, to the International Criminal Court (ICC), where he faces war crimes charges. This after a French court last week ruled that Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona will be transferred from a jail near Paris to The Hague, where he is to face war crimes charges related to his alleged activities as a senior leader of the anti-Balaka militia in the CAR. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Ngaissona is a member of CAF, Africa's top footballing body. Deutsche Welle reports that the former government minister was elected to CAF’s executive committee despite the fact that Human Rights Watch had named him as an anti-Balaka leader in a 2016 report. The Christian militias carried out systematic attacks on Muslims living in CAR from 2013-2014 amid the deadly ethnic and religious conflict that has raged in the country since mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013. The ICC said Ngaissona, who was arrested on 12 December in France, was suspected of a range of war crimes and crimes against humanity. They include murder, torture and the recruitment of child soldiers. ICC prosecutors ‘found reasonable grounds to believe Mr. Ngaissona is liable for having committed jointly with others ... the above-mentioned crimes’.