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France extradites Central African football boss to ICC

France extradites Central African football boss to ICC

Central African Republic

France has handed over the Central African football chief and ex-militia to the International Criminals Court for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, a statement by the court said.

Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona was arrested mid-December last year by French authorities and the ICC confirmed he been transferred to the Hague, Netherlands. He has rejected these accusations.

Ngaissona, 51, is suspected of committing or assisting to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity in the west of the Central African Republic between September 2013 and 2014.

According to the Court, there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that “a widespread and systematic attack was perpetrated by the anti-Balaka against the Muslim civilian population and anyone who seemed to support the Seleka”.

Created in 2013 after the Seleka coalition rebels seized power in Bangui, the self-proclaimed anti-balaka self-defense militias took up arms claiming to defend the interests of Christians and in retaliation for the abuses of Muslim armed groups. 

The ICC said it will soon announce date for his appearance in court.

Ngaissona, briefly served as sports Minister in the Central African Republic in 2013 and was elected to the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in February 2018.

He was also president of the Central African Football Federation.

AFP

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