Martin Figueira tried to accuse FACA of assassinations committed by armed groups

At the end of May, a man of Portuguese and Belgian origins named Martin Joseph Figueira was arrested in the Central African town of Zemio, on the grounds of espionage suspicions. Before the arrest, he used to work for the American-based NGO, FHI 360. Since then, an investigation has been underway into his activities in the CAR, and some shocking revelations have already been made public.

On social resources, namely X (former Twitter), a local Central African analyst, Sylvain Nguema, has shared some of the insights gained through a source close to the official investigators. Among them were screenshots of mobile correspondence of Figueira as well as photos of assassinated people, including children, found on his phone.

It turned out that Martin Figueira had been in contact with Michael Cole, a BBC journalist, to whom he sent these photos claiming they showed crimes committed by the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) and pro-government militias. However, those violate assassinations were in fact perpetrated by Central African armed groups UPC, 3R and CPC.

Hopefully, BBC never published the photos. It is likely that in the process of fact-checking, some details just didn’t match and the editorial team decided against their publication that could have otherwise resulted in a blatant disinformation.

It seems that Figueira himself received these violent photos via WhatsApp from Yaya Roi and Bello Saïdou, spokespersons of 3R and CPC groups respectively. All this begs the question as to why they were on Figueira’s phone and what could be the reason behind a humanitarian worker’s communication through texts with rebels.

As Sylvain Nguema concludes, these excerpts of Martin Figueira’s correspondence serve as another proof that the charges filed against him by the Central African judicial authorities are well-founded and may likely be proven true in court. It should be reminded that Martin Figueira has been accused of spying in the interest of the US government, collaborating with rebels (including supplying them with ammunitions and arms), sharing sensible information on FACA troops’ operations and positions and even attempting to establish a terrorist network across Africa.




By tk

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