Belgian-Portuguese adviser arrested in Central African Republic

Belgian-Portuguese adviser arrested in Central African Republic

Joseph Figueira Martin, a 41-year-old Belgian-Portuguese national and a well-known specialist on pastoralism and grazing issues, has been detained in the Central African Republic for a month. He was a seasoned collaborator with organizations such as the International Crisis Group, Global Witness, African Parks, and the European Union, and was on assignment to Zemio as an advisor to the American NGO FHI 360. He was accused of endangering state security and accused of spying against him. include setting ” International Terrorism Branch » With repercussions in six countries.

His arrest by Wagner forces, backed by the Azande militia, sent shockwaves through the country.

Controversial arrest described as 'clear injustice'

The circumstances surrounding Figueria's arrest raise many questions. According to Prosecutor Benoit Narcisse Focbio, the investigation aims to prove Figueria's alleged links to armed groups and his supposed subversive plans. However, many observers condemned this arrest as a political maneuver orchestrated by Wagner, calling into question the independence of the Central African justice system.

The family of Joseph Figuera Martin broke their silence, denouncing what they described as “clear injustice.” In a press statement, George Martin, Joseph's brother, categorically refutes the accusations against him, calling them fallacious. He also criticizes the lack of support from the NGO FHI 360, which Joseph was working for at the time of his arrest.

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Kompromat accusations

The accusations against Figueria are not isolated. Two French-Algerian citizens, Hassad Bensalem and Samir Antonio Othmani, were also arrested in similar circumstances. The evidence against them, including weapons and cash, quickly spread on pro-Russian social networks, fueling suspicions about kompromat – the Russian term for compromising documents, often fabricated to harm a public figure.

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A judicial system under political influence and repercussions

Criticism abounds regarding the independence of the Central African Republic’s judicial system, which is increasingly seen as a tool of political repression under Wagner’s control. Many see the arrest of Joseph Figueira Martin as an attempt to pressure the European Union, Portugal and Belgium – Touadera’s main partners.

The case comes amid tensions between Russia and France, while relations between Bangui and Paris are warming. Central African President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who has maintained ties with French-Algerian businessmen, has expressed his dismay at the arrests, which he is trying to resolve privately.

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About the Author: Germano Álvares

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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