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Posted on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 12:28

CAR: Ousted President to run in planned election amid charges

By Konye Obaji Ori

CAR's ousted President, François Bozize. File photo©ReutersOusted president of the Central African Republic (CAR), Francois Bozize, will return to the country to contest a presidential election in October two years after he was forced from power by the Seleka rebellion.

 

The ousting of Bozize set the country on the path to an ethno-religious civil war, which has taken France, the African Union, and the United Nations to curtail.

Francois Bozize will come back to the country and we will do all we can so he returns

Bozize will now return to attempt to reclaim his position through the ballot box, his Kwa Na Kwa political party revealed on Monday.

"No electoral campaign can be conducted from a distance, so Francois Bozize will come back to the country and we will do all we can so he returns," Bertin Bea, Kwa Na Kwa party secretary general, told reporters.

Bea, who led the party's congress on Friday, said he spoke regularly with Bozize.

Bozize's former Prime Minister Faustin Archange Touadera has also announced his candidacy for the election set to be held on October 18 with a second round, if necessary on November 22.

The transitional court will rule on who is eligible to run.

However, Bozize's return will ignite charges against him for his role in unsettling the country following his ousting.

CAR's constitution does not prevent Bozize from running for office again. And Bea believes it is up to transitional authorities to ensure Bozize's security when he returns to the country.

Although fighting has eased in CAR, there have been sporadic clashes, despite a peacekeeping mission deployed in the country.

However, Bozize may have more than his security to worry about.

Bozize is currently under a United Nations embargo that prevents him from travelling and banking.

Also, the government that succeeded him issued an international warrant for his arrest in 2013, accusing him of crimes against humanity and incitement to genocide.

Bozize's arrival in CAR will test the UN sanctions against him, as well as the arrest warrant issued against him by the Seleka-led government.

CAR fell into anarchy when thousands of fighters from the Seleka rebel coalition toppled Bozize in March 2013 after 10 years in power.

The predominantly Muslim Seleka seized power, prompting reprisal attacks by "anti-balaka" Christian militia that forced tens of thousands of Muslims from the south.

The Seleka fighters said they toppled Bozize because he failed to honour an earlier peace deal.

Bozize fled to neighboring Cameroon and currently spends time in Uganda and Kenya.



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