FILE PHOTO: Central African Republic’s soccer govt and alleged militia chief, Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona seems earlier than the Worldwide Legal Courtroom (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands, January 25, 2019. Koen Van Weel/Pool through Reuters
THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Two alleged leaders of Central African Republic militias, one in every of them outstanding in African soccer, heard particulars of battle crimes accusations towards them on the Worldwide Legal Courtroom (ICC) on Thursday.
Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona and Alfred Yekatom, who deny wrongdoing, had been attending a so-called “affirmation of prices” listening to the place prosecutors define their case. Judges will then resolve if there may be sufficient proof to maneuver ahead with a trial.
Shortly earlier than the listening to, prosecutors revealed a cost sheet alleging Ngaissona was one of the senior leaders of Christian-dominated militias, whereas Yekatom was a commander in the identical pressure, throughout preventing in 2013-2014.
The Central African Republic has been mired in violence since a coalition of principally northern and predominantly Muslim rebels often known as Seleka seized energy in March 2013. Their brutal rule gave rise to the Christian militias, who opposed them.
Ngaissona and Yekatom had been accused of taking part in a plan to focus on Muslims thought to assist the Selaka and committing crimes together with extermination, persecution, homicide, torture and intentional assaults towards civilians.
“They knew that mobilizing and utilizing anti-Balaka (Christian) teams fueled by vengeance and hatred of Muslims … and remodeling them right into a formidable preventing pressure would, within the bizarre course of occasions, consequence within the violent focusing on of the Muslim civilian inhabitants in western Central African Republic,” the cost sheet mentioned.
Ngaissona was arrested in France in December and extradited to the court docket. He had been touring to Paris in his then-capacity as a member of the manager council of the African Soccer Federation (CAF), Africa’s soccer governing physique.
Yekatom, on the time a sitting member of parliament, was handed over by the Central African Republic to the ICC in November 2018.
Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg; Modifying by Andrew Cawthorne