The French National Prosecution Service announced on Saturday that it had arrested and charged a former security guard for Francois Bozize, the former president of the Central African Republic.
A former guardian of the ousted Central African president Francois Bozize (2003-2013) was accused on Friday night in Paris, especially of “complicity in crimes against humanity” and “complicity in war crimes”, then imprisoned, told AFP on Saturday September 19, National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat).
He was arrested on Tuesday in eastern France and Eric Danboy Bagale, a 41-year-old Central African, was also charged with “torture acts” and “criminal association for preparing a war crime” for acts. committed between 2007 and 2014 “as head of the presidential guard (…) then as head of anti-balaka militias,” Pnat said in a statement.
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Eric Danboy Bagale was arrested and detained on Tuesday by the Central Office for the Fight against Crimes against Humanity, Genocides and War Crimes (OCLCHGCG) and the Besancon gendarmerie research section.
This arrest was ordered by Pnaten’s “crime against humanity” as part of an investigation launched in May 2017 and now entrusted to specialized investigating judges of the Paris court.
The name of Eric Danboy Bagale appeared among the “liberators”, the name of the comrades under General Bozize who brought him to power in 2003 by overthrowing President Ange-Felix Patasse.
Between 3,000 and 6,000 deaths between 2013 and 2015
A member of the Gbaya ethnic group, like Francois Bozize, the officer had become a senior official in the anti-Balaka militia. These armed groups were formed to fight the Seleka militia, an alliance of rebels from the predominantly Muslim north of the country, who ousted President Bozize from power in 2013.
The many massacres perpetrated by the two camps plunged this country, among the poorest in Africa, into the third civil war in its history. According to the UN, which accused the two coalitions of war crimes, between 3,000 and 6,000 people, mostly civilians, died between 2013 and 2015.
By the end of 2014, France and Monaco had frozen the assets of Eric Danboy Bagale and Jean-Francis Bozize, son of the former president, accusing them of working “for the destabilization of the Central African Republic” and trying to “commit a terrorist act”.
“This is the first indictment in a Pnat trial initiated into acts committed in the Central African Republic,” the statement said.
French justice has taken up this case due to universal jurisdiction which gives it the right to prosecute suspects for war crimes or crimes against humanity if they pass through or live in French territory.
In 2019, about 150 legal proceedings were carried out by this specialized center in the Paris court regarding abuses committed specifically in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, Iraq and Libya.