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France arrests Central Africa Republic war crimes suspect

French authorities have arrested Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, a senior leader and the National General Coordinator of a Anti-Balaka militant group in the Central Africa Republic. 

Ngaissona is charged with having led targeted attacks on the nation’s Muslim’s population in 2013-14. 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) further alleges he was responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity including “murder, extermination, deportation, persecution, torture, attacking civilians, and recruiting child soldiers”.  

The arrest was carried out on December 7. The ICC has since submitted a formal request that he be extradited to the Hague to face trial. 

Ngasissona has rejects the allegations. He had been elected to the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football in February, despite protest from the Human Rights Watch. 

He was however barred from running for the presidential election in 2015 due to the role he played in the ethnic violence.

The Central African Republic is rife with ethnic conflict with with the Christian Anti-Balaka militias waging war with the Muslim Seleka rebels following the coup they launched against President Francois Bozize in 2013.