Prosecutor Arrests European NGO Worker Accused Of Inciting Revolt In CAR


Prosecutors in the Central African Republic said they have arrested and detained a European employee of a U.S.-based non-governmental organisation on suspicion of being a threat to state security and seeking to incite revolt against security forces.

In a statement read on state television on Friday, the public prosecutor in the capital Bangui said Martin Joseph Figueira had Portuguese and Belgian passports and had been detained on May 25 after an investigation was opened.

It did not give details of the charges but accused Figueira of being in contact with armed groups.

The prosecutor added that Figueira worked for the public health NGO FHI 360.

“An FHI 360 consultant working to design a community development program went missing in Zemio, Central African Republic, on Sunday, May 26,” a spokeswoman for the organisation said on Sunday.

“We have confirmed that our consultant is now in the custody of the Central African Republic government. We have no further information to share at this time.”

A spokesperson for the Portuguese foreign ministry confirmed over the weekend that a Belgian-Portuguese citizen working for an American NGO “was arrested on suspicion of being involved in a plot against the regime.”

“The Portuguese government is monitoring the case, the No. 2 of the embassy in (the capital of neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo) Kinshasa visited this citizen yesterday, as did the Honorary Consul of the Central African Republic,” the spokesperson said.

“We also know that he’s been heard (by authorities). We await developments in the case.”

Central African Republic, a former French colony and one of the world’s poorest countries, has become a close Russian ally in recent years, hosting one of the Wagner Group mercenary army’s largest foreign operations.