20°C / 22°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 28°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 27°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 14°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 19°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 19°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 19°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 18°C
  • Wed
  • 26°C
  • 19°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 19°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 19°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 17°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 17°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 17°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 30°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 31°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 30°C
  • 17°C
  • Wed
  • 27°C
  • 17°C
  • Thu
  • 32°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 32°C
  • 18°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 17°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 17°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 17°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 29°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 27°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 28°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 27°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 26°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 16°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 18°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 27°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 25°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Tue
  • 23°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Fri
  • 25°C
  • 15°C

France to extradite African football chief to war crimes tribunal

The International Criminal Court issued a warrant in December for Ngaissona for allegedly coordinating so-called anti-Balaka militias which emerged after civil war broke out in the Central African Republic in 2013.

In this file photo taken on 2 February 2018 Central African Republic's football federation chief Patrice Edouard Ngaissona attends the 40th CAF ordinary general assembly in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. Picture: AFP.

PARIS - France will transfer Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, a member of Africa's top footballing body, to the International Criminal Court in The Hague where he faces war crimes charges, a court ruled Monday.

Ngaissona, who is from the Central African Republic (CAR) and sits on the board of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has been in a jail near Paris since his arrest on 12 December.

The one-time sports minister, who is head of the Central African Republic's football association, was controversially elected to the executive board of the CAF general assembly in February.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant in December for Ngaissona for allegedly coordinating so-called anti-Balaka militias which emerged after civil war broke out in the Central African Republic in 2013.

The militias, set up to defend Christian communities from mostly Muslim rebels, are accused of a host of human rights abuses including mass killings and mutilations.

The arrest came just weeks after another suspected militia leader - Alfred Yekatom, known as Rambo - was detained in CAR and transferred to The Hague.

The decision to extradite Ngaissona was made by magistrates at the court of appeal in Paris.

"I was a spokesman who brought peace to the Central African Republic and not a warlord," Ngaissona told the court during a hearing on 19 December.

France, the former colonial power, sent 2,000 troops to help stabilise the conflict-torn CAR in 2013 and attempted to detain Ngaissona a year later during an operation in his fiefdom in the north of the capital Bangui.

The ICC considers Ngaissona the "most senior leader and the 'National General Coordinator' of the anti-Balaka" and therefore responsible for crimes in several parts of the country.

The alleged crimes include murder, torture, mutilation, intentionally targeting and displacing civilians, pillaging and enlisting child soldiers.

In 2015, Ngaissona was barred from running in presidential elections over concerns about his role in the violence, but has previously said that "everything I've done has been for the good of my country".

In February, he was elected to the CAF board seat representing eight central African nations. The CAF said his candidacy respected "strict statutory criteria" but noted the body did not have an ethics committee.

"If the allegations were true, I wouldn't be here today," Ngaissona told AFP in February, saying he didn't want "to mix politics and sport".

The ICC has launched investigations into at least eight African countries since its establishment in 2002, including several into the violence in CAR.

Jean-Pierre Bemba, former vice president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was convicted in June 2016 for war crimes committed by his rebel army in CAR in 2002-2003, but this was overturned on appeal two years later.

A second probe was opened in September 2014 into atrocities committed by armed militias during the most recent civil war.

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

comments powered by Disqus