Armed ViolenceNews

Central African Republic Forces Arrest Former UPC Rebel ‘General’

Idriss Ibrahim Khalil, alias Ben Laden was arrested on Saturday, July 23, in Alindao sub-prefecture of Basse-Kotto prefecture.

A former self-proclaimed “general” of the Unite pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) rebel movement in the Central African Republic has been arrested.

Idriss Ibrahim Khalil, alias Ben Laden was arrested on Saturday, July 23, in Alindao sub-prefecture of Basse-Kotto prefecture.

On Monday, July 25, he was transferred to Bangui, the capital.

Khalil is a native of Alindao. According to the Association of Victims of Alindao, he was the prime mover behind many war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the civilian population, including an attack on a displaced persons’ camp on Nov. 15, 2018.

At least  112 civilians, including 44 women, 19 infants and two Catholic priests, were killed.

He was also accused of being the brain behind an attack in Alindao during which some gendarmes and civilians were killed.

In Oct. 2021, the self-proclaimed “general” leading a group of ten armed rebels came out of the marquis and asked to be disarmed by the Central African Republic government.

They were disarmed and integrated into the country’s armed forces, FACA.

 However, two months later, the Association of Victims of Alindao publicly expressed anger over the absorption of Khalil and his men into the national army.

Crowds in Bambari called for his arrest and the Anti-Balaka “General” Dago, all natives of Alindao.

Simultaneously, the International Criminal Special Tribunal, carrying out investigations into various massacres in the Central African Republic and Alindao,  issued an international arrest warrant against Khalil and his accomplices.

The tribunal looked into the crime perpetrated on November 15, 2018, in which over 100 persons died.

The Association of Victims of Alindao expressed joy at Khalil’s arrest, noting that it marked a significant step forward in the fight against war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country. 

The association said it was looking forward to the arrest of the Minister of Animal Breeding, Hassan Bouba and the Anti-Balaka self-proclaimed “general” Dago.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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