Chad hands over former CAR militia chief to the International Criminal Court

Chadian authorities on Monday handed over a former militia leader in the Central African Republic to the International Criminal Court on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity, a court in The Hague said.

The International Criminal Court said in a statement that Maxime Geoffroy Elie Mukum-Guaka was accused of committing crimes in 2013 and 2014 “in Bangui and other locations in the Central African Republic”.

Mukum was the leader of the “anti-balaka”, guards of the Christian and pagan majority in the Central African Republic. In 2019, he became the Minister of Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Repatriation (DDRR) of the country.

The ICC found “reasonable grounds” to suspect that Mukum, as the “national coordinator of anti-balaka operations”, was responsible for crimes against humanity, including murder, torture, persecution and “enforced disappearance”. The court said in its statement.

With regard to war crimes, he is suspected of, among other things, “willingly directing an attack against the civilian population” and an attack against humanitarian personnel as well as the recruitment of combatants as young as 15 years old.

One of the world’s poorest countries, the Central African Republic plunged into conflict in 2013 when a rebel alliance called Seleka ousted President François Bozize, who is largely from the Muslim minority.

The coup caused a sectarian bloodbath between the “anti-balaka” forces and the Seleka rebels.

Two former anti-balaka leaders, Patrice Edward Nguesona and Alfred Yekatom, are on trial at the International Criminal Court.

An alleged Seleka leader will appear for trial at the International Criminal Court in September to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.


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