Disgraced former Central African Republic (CAR) dictator François Bozize, who was chased out of power in March this year by the Seleka rebels, wants to return to power if the opportunity arises.
This is what he told Radio France Internationale (RFI) this week in an exclusive interview conducted in the French capital Paris, where he is said to be visiting his family.
Asked how he intended to do that, he replied: “By political means, but if all fails I will take up arms because this is how it has always been.”
Bozize accused Chad’s President Idris Deby – again – of helping the Seleka rebels to topple him, saying Central African leaders made a big mistake, which they are probably regretting by now.
But the Chadian government rejected Bozize’s accusations, branding him an ungrateful leader who must blame himself for his woes. It is believed that Chad also sent troops to help Bozize to take power through yet another coup d’etat.
CAR has descended into a huge chaos since the March 2013 coup d’etat, as crime, looting, extreme violence, rape, and other forms of human rights violations thought to be fomented by the Seleka have been occurring on a daily basis across the country.
The 67-year-old army general said he has been approached by many people in France to do something about that chaos, and said he was counting on France’s influence and the African Union to help him solve what he called his country’s constitutional chaos.
“During my stay here, my fellow countrymen came to see me and we agreed to set up a structure called the Front for the Return to Constitutional Order in Central Africa (FROCA),” he told RFI.
The purpose of this structure is to monitor everything that happens in this country, and to inform the entire international community, he added.
“I want to save my people because they have suffered too much,” he told RFI’s Ghislaine Dupont.
The former CAR strongman, who ruled with an iron-fist for 10 years, is also accused of committing grave human rights violations while he was at the helm of the diamond-rich country.
The government of self-proclaimed head of state Michel Djotodia said Bozize will be arrested if he ever sets foot in CAR.
But Bozize said Seleka rebels were criminals, who have sowed chaos, violence and confusion in the country.
Bozize also said he still had a few allies on the continent, without however naming them. But some believe that South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, who sent troops to protect the Bozize’s regime from collapsing, is among those allies, and could therefore help the former strongman return to power – by all means.
Zuma and Bozize still have some unfinished business, a South African government source told Moon of the South today on condition of anonymity.
Analysts say Djotodia’s regime is fragile and is being threatened by many rebel groups, thought to be supported by Bozize – a charge he strongly denies.
Photo: Former CAR dictator François Bozize