ICC unseals arrest warrant for Central African Republic war crimes suspect, Adam

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The International Criminal Court, ICC, on Thursday, unsealed an arrest warrant for Mahamat Nouradine Adam, a man it suspects of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Central African Republic.

Adam could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokesperson for the court said a lawyer had not yet been named for him.

Adam was a leader of the mostly Muslim “Seleka” militia groups that seized power in 2013-2014 as part of the country’s long-running civil war, ousting then-President Francois Bozize.
Former leaders of both the Seleka and opposing Christian militias known as “Anti-Balaka” face charges at the ICC.

In the unsealed 2019 warrant, an ICC judge wrote that he had reasonable grounds to believe Adam was “responsible for crimes against humanity, committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population, namely imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, persecution, and other inhumane acts”.

A statement by the court announcing the warrant had been unsealed and said Adam had served as the country’s Minister of Security between March 31 and Aug. 22 2013. It said the alleged crimes took place at detention centres in Bangui.

The court called on states and international organizations to assist in arresting and extraditing Adam, who is estimated to be around 52 years old.

Adam’s case is linked to that of another suspect already in custody at the ICC — Mahamat Said Abdel Kani.

Said, who has denied wrongdoing, is also accused of overseeing beatings and mistreatment of prisoners suspected of supporting Bozize at prisons in Bangui.

His arrest warrant was issued on the same day as Adam’s, Jan. 7, 2019, also under seal.

Said was arrested in January 2021 and transferred to The Hague, where charges against him were confirmed in December. He is awaiting trial.

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