Former Central African Republic Minister Faces International Criminal Court

Eli Mokome Gawaka was the Central African Republic Minister of Demobilisation, Disarmament, Reinsertion and Repatriation, before he returned to being a rebel in 2021.

The former Central African Republic Minister of Demobilisation, Disarmament, Reinsertion and Repatriation who doubled as leader of the Anti-Balaka movement, Maxime Jeoffroy Eli Mokome Gawaka, has been handed over to the International Criminal Court.

Eli Mokome, who was arrested on Sunday, Feb. 27,  is facing war crimes and crimes against humanity charges which he committed in the Central African Republic between 2013 and 2014.

His arraignment before the judges of the court will be announced on a later date.

The arrest and transfer of Eli Mokome to the International Criminal Court is a big blow to the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), led by former Central African Republic head of state, Francois Bozize, who is his uncle.

In 2019 after the signing of the political accord for peace and reconciliation in the Central African Republic, Eli Mokome was appointed Minister of Demobilisation, Disarmament, Reinsertion and Repatriation but he resigned one year later to join his uncle Francois Bozize who founded the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

However, after the CPC’s failed attempt to capture Bangui the capital in Jan. 2021 due to a counteroffensive led by Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Security Group assisted by the Central African Republic national army, FACA, and Rwandan soldiers, Mokome left the country and took refuge in Chad.

His stay in Chad became untenable when he publicly denounced the misappropriation of funds made available by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) for the upkeep of former CAR rebel leaders by Ahmed Kogri, the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), who eventually ordered his arrest.

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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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