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  • Central African Republic's Former President Francois Bozize.

    Central African Republic's Former President Francois Bozize. | Photo: Twitter/ @BYC125

Published 3 December 2020
Opinion

The former President agreed to run as a candidate for his party after returning to his country at the end of 2019.

The Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic (RCA) on Thursday invalidated the candidacy of ex-President Francois Bozize, who cannot attend the Dec. 27 elections because he must answer for crimes against humanity.

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He is the subject of an international arrest warrant issued in March 2014 by the Bangui Prosecutor's Office and must be held accountable for "murders, kidnappings, arbitrary detentions, and torture."

Besides being suspected of incitement to genocide and crimes against humanity during his government (2003-2013), Bozize was sanctioned by the United Nations for his alleged support of the Christian anti-Balaka militias in the year in which he was overthrown.

The former president agreed in July to run as a candidate for his party, National Convergence "Kwa Na Kwa", after returning to his homeland at the end of 2019 after a six-year exile.

Violence has prevailed in this African country since late 2012 when a Muslim-majority coalition of rebel groups called Seleka seized the capital city and overthrew Bozize.

The meme reads, "Eric Danboy Bagale, former head of Francois Bozize's security guard, was jailed on Friday evening in Paris. He is accused of torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity."

In 2017, the United Nations identified 620 serious cases of rights violations that could make up war crimes and crimes against humanity, mostly committed by security forces, ex-Selek rebels, and anti-Balaka militias.

Following today's verdict in the Constitutional Court, seventeen applicants will face outgoing President Faustin Archange Touadera at the polls.

The civil war has hampered voter registration in various parts of the country and might prevent some 200,000 refugees from exercising their right to vote.

With a population of five million inhabitants, the Central African Republic has at least 2.8 million people requiring humanitarian assistance, according to data from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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