Congolese minister suspected of war crimes escaped Belgian justice
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    Congolese minister suspected of war crimes escaped Belgian justice

    Pierre Oba, current Minister for Mines in Congo-Brazzaville, and former Interior Minister, slipped between the cracks of the judicial net woven by Belgium and France, whilst accused of war crimes committed between 1997 and 1999 in his country. This appeared yesterday (Wednesday) in Le Soir Mag and the French magazine Marianne.

    Both weekly publications stated that the man may have been in both Belgium and France from 23 November 2015 .

    Mr Oba, who also has Belgian nationality, may have come over to obtain his new identity card at the civil registration service in the Uccle commune.

    He is thought to have done so before returning to his residence in the Parisian suburb of Sartrouville for forty days. Some sources state that he may have simply been in Europe for health treatment.

    Mr Oba was subject to complaints lodged in France and Belgium in 2001.

    Up to now, the minister has never been questioned by judicial authorities in both countries in response to accusations of alleged massacres of thousands of opponents between 1997 and 1999.

    The presence of Mr Oba in Belgium and in France was established by investigators.

    The Belgian justice system had an international mandate for his arrest dated 21 December 2015, based upon concrete evidence implicating the minister in serious human rights violations.

    On January 6th, Mr Oba went to the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris where he may have taken a plane for Brazzaville.

    However, he then showed up six days later in the Congo.

    Both publications speculate that the minister may have left France, on board a “special aircraft”, thereby escaping justice.

    According to diplomatic mail, copied by Le Soir Mag, the President of the Congo Denis Sassou-Nguesso is thought to have called a meeting with the current Ambassador/Head of the EU Delegation in Brazzaville, Saskia De Lang.

    His aim was to ask her for explanations upon “arrest attempts” of one of his ministers, leading to the belief that information was obtained by the interested party.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times