Ousted Bozize says Chad aided CAR Seleka rebels
Francois Bozize, ousted CAR President.
YAOUNDE - The ousted president of the Central African Republic has accused Chad of helping the rebels that toppled him.
Francois Bozize told the BBC it was “Chadian special forces” who led the final operation of last month’s rebellion, including an attack on a base of South African troops.
Chad, which is hosting an emergency regional summit on CAR, has not commented on the allegations.
It seems fairly inconceivable that the rebels were unsupported. Lots of fingers point towards Chad Lesley Warner in World Politics Reviewed observes
For lack of a better option, it is more likely that Chad, though it does not meet the above criteria, will again assume the kingmaker role it has played in CAR in the past, seeking a friendly, stable government to the south that will not, willingly or unwillingly, provide sanctuary for Chadian insurgent groups.
But South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma is one of those attending the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) summit.
Thirteen South African soldiers were killed in the clashes in the capital, Bangui, when the Seleka rebel group seized power after a peace deal negotiated with Bozize collapsed.
The incident has caused controversy in South Africa. The ruling ANC party has rejected accusations that the troops were there because of mining interests, saying they were training government forces and providing security.
Also worth a read is " South Africa inspires a “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” in the CAR " again by Lesley on her blog Lesley on Africa
The events of this past weekend cast a shadow upon the previously constructive role South Africa has played with regard to conflict resolution in Africa, and taints its image as a neutral broker for future peace agreements on the continent.
Still laughing at WTF ( Whisky Tango Foxtrot ) I haven't heard it described that way before.
“On Saturday, March 23, we had neutralised the Seleka forces, but overnight into Sunday 24, we knew that there had been support from an African country, which I inevitably believe was Chad,” Bozize, who fled to Cameroon after the rebellion, told the BBC French Service.
“We can confirm it was Chadian special forces that led the operation on the Sunday morning and attacked the barracks of the South Africans,” he said.
Last week, Zuma said the South African troops died in a nine-hour “high-tempo battle” against the “bandits” in Bangui.
Bozize, who seized power in a coup in 2003 and won two subsequent elections, said he was surprised by Chad’s move.
“To avoid a bloodshed I decided to resign after a phone call I made to the French ambassador,” he said. “We had a solid and friendship relation with the Chadian authorities. Chad alone can give an explanation.”
Louisa Lombard, a fellow at the University of California in Berkeley who specialises in CAR affairs, said relations between the neighbours had soured in recent months.
Up until last year, Chad’s President Idriss Deby provided Bozize with his personal guards, she said.
“One of the things that really frustrated Deby was the presence of a Chadian rebel group on CAR territory and Deby’s sense that Bozize didn’t do enough to deal with this group,” Lombard said.
“It is also probable that President Bozize was starting to pursue alliances with other countries, notably South Africa, and this was compromising his relationship with Deby,” she said.
Michel Djotodia, the rebel leader who has declared himself president, is sending his Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye to the Ecowas summit in N’Djamena.
Djotodia announced a caretaker government on Sunday and says he will run the country until elections in 2016.