Ousted central African leader Francois Bozize in SA – report

2013-06-04 14:00

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Government has declined to comment on reports that ousted Central African Republic (CAR) president Francois Bozize was in the country.

Media reports said Bozize had left Cameroon and travelled to the country via Kenya late Sunday.

“We currently don’t have an official comment on the matter,” department of international relations spokesperson Nelson Kgwete said.

Bozize (66) fled the CAR in the wake of a military coup on March 24, after thousands of fighters from the Seleka rebel coalition entered the capital Bangui, accusing him of breaking an earlier peace agreement.

Thirteen South African soldiers were killed and 27 injured in the takeover bid. The country has since withdrawn its troops, which numbered 200 at the peak of a deployment to train the CAR military.

Over his 10 years in office, Bozize’s armed forces engaged in summary executions, unlawful killings, the use of children as soldiers and many other human rights violations, according to a 2007 Human Rights Watch report.

In December 2012, the EU suspended its more than $200 million development program in the CAR, saying the funds would be withheld until the rule of law is re-established.

The CAR said it had issued an international warrant for his arrest via Interpol last week. But his name was not on the Interpol wanted list as of June 4.

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