CAR rebel leader re-arrested, charged for war crimes


Central African Republic terrorists cause havoc

from OMAN MBIKO in Bangui, Central African Republic
CAR Bureau
BANGUI, (CAJ News) – THE re-arrest of rebel leader, Abdoulaye Hissène, is a warning to other insurgent leaders that their reign of terror in the Central African Republic (CAR) is doomed.

Implicated in war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed in 2017 as leader of the group Popular Front for the Rebirth of the Central African Republic (Front Populaire pour la renaissance de la République centrafricaine or FPRC), Hissène (56) was arrested on Tuesday after breaking from jail in 2016.

His militants aided the jailbreak.

This week, the Special Criminal Court (SCC) announced charges against the rebel leader.

“In a country teeming with individuals implicated in war crimes, Hissène stands out,” said Lewis Mudge, Human Rights Watch (HRW) director for Central Africa.

Hissène was an early commander of the Muslim-aligned Seleka group and a minister while the rebels held the capital, Bangui, in 2013.

Later, he was a leader of a splinter group headed by Noureddine Adam, who is currently a fugitive suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture, by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Hissène’s militants were implicated in violence across Bangui in 2015 as people voted in a constitutional referendum in the city’s PK 5 neighborhood. HRW then documented the killing of hundreds of civilians while thousands of homes were destroyed north of the capital from 2014 to 2017.

Months after he escaped jail in 2016, fighters under Hissène and Haroun Gaye, another Seleka leader, allegedly kidnapped five policemen.

In 2017 the United States and the United Nations put him on a sanctions list.

A year later, a criminal court in Bangui tried and convicted him in absentia on charges of association with criminals, possession of illegal weapons, undermining state security and rebellion.

In 2020, Hissène broke with the other Seleka groups and refused to back a new rebel coalition. This put in good standing with the government of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra.

Last year, Hissène prominently participated in a political dialogue aimed at restoring peace in the volatile country.

Seemingly, he was in a comfort zone.

“Hissène felt protected and lived in Bangui without fear,” Mudge said.

“His arrest is a warning to others implicated in grave crimes and in positions of power, that the reign of impunity in the country may be fracturing.”

The landlocked country of 5,7 million people is synonymous with conflict.

Plans by Touadéra to seek a third term, against the constitution, have further divided the nation.

– CAJ News


scroll to top