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France hands war crimes suspect Ngaissona over to ICC

Edouard-Patrice Ngaïssona was arrested in France in December 2018.
Edouard-Patrice Ngaïssona was arrested in France in December 2018. AFP/Fadel Senna

Top African football administrator Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona was transferred on Wednesday to the International Criminal Court in The Hague where he faces war crimes charges.

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Ngaissona, who sits on the board of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), was arrested in France on 12 December on an ICC warrant.

The 51-year-old is accused of coordinating so-called anti-Balaka militia which emerged after civil war broke out in Central African Republic (CAR) in 2013.

The court said: "This transfer followed the completion of necessary national proceedings in France."

Ngaissona, a former sports minister in CAR, is head of the country's football association. He was elected to the executive board of the CAF general assembly in February.

The Balaka militia he was allegedly involved with were set up to defend Christian communities from mostly Muslim rebels during the conflict in his country.

The militia are accused of human rights abuses including mass killings and mutilations.

Ngaissona's arrest last year came a few weeks after Alfred Yekatom, another suspected militia leader, was detained in CAR and transferred to The Hague.

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