After months of speculation, it turned out that the rebel alliance in the Central African Republic was, in fact, led by former president François Bozizé.
In a statement by the spokesperson of the alliance, it turned out that he had “taken charge” weeks before being admitted on March 21st.
Bozizé seized power in the former French colony in 2003 and was ousted a decade later, an act that sparked a civil war along sectarian lines.
The government has accused him of being behind a failed offensive against President Faustin Archange Touadera in December.
Bozizé’s spokesman Serge Bozanga confirmed that he had agreed in February to become “general coordinator” of the so-called Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), which attempted to block Touadera’s reelection, only to see their offensive repulsed.
Bozanga confirmed the authenticity of a document dated February 18th stating that Bozizé had accepted the CPC’s leadership “call”.
The constitutional court earlier blocked Bozizé’s bid to stand in the December presidential election, on the grounds that he was under UN sanctions over his alleged support for militias held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 2013-14 conflict.
Bozizé, who voiced support for the CPC in December while urging a boycott of the elections, denied allegations of heading the group.
But now he heads it.
On January 4th, the government launched an inquiry into him for “rebellion”.
Up against a 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force as well as hundreds Rwandan soldiers deployed in late December. The CAR government forces also received support from Russian military specialists that were requested to assist. The rebels have been in retreat since a January 13 attack on the capital Bangui was thwarted.
- The CAR former president, Francois Bozize reportedly took direct command of the rebels against the government, according to pro-rebel sources
- On March 20, Georgian peacekeepers completed its peacekeeping duties in the European Union training mission in the CAR and have returned to Georgia.
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