Rebels Overthrow Central African Republic's Prez
Francois Bozize has fled, thought to be headed for Congo
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 24, 2013 1:51 PM CDT
In this Jan. 5, 2013 file photo, government security forces in a truck drive past a demonstration calling for peace as negotiators prepare for talks with rebels, in Bangui, Central African Republic.   (Ben Curtis)

(Newser) – Rebels who invaded the capital two months after signing a peace agreement overthrew Central African Republic's president of a decade today, as fighters seized the presidential palace and declared him the country's former leader, according to witnesses and an adviser to longtime President Francois Bozize. Former colonial power France confirmed the developments, issuing a statement that said French President Francois Hollande "has taken note of the departure of President Francois Bozize."

"Central African Republic has just opened a new page in its history," said a communique signed by Justin Kombo Moustapha, secretary-general of the alliance of rebel groups known as Seleka. "The political committee of the Seleka coalition calls on the population to remain calm and to prepare to welcome the revolutionary forces of Seleka." Heavy gunfire echoed through the city today as fighters made their way to the presidential palace, which the country's leader of a decade had fled. "Bozize left the city this morning," said a member of Bozize's presidential majority, who declined to say where the president had gone. A crisis management firm with contacts on the ground said it believed Bozize was headed toward neighboring Congo.

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Mar 24, 2013 5:11 PM CDT
Feet don't fail me now.
Mar 24, 2013 3:30 PM CDT
Now that Bozize has fled the CAR, I wonder how many millions or billions he managed to steal from a country rich with minerals, but where most of the population is starving. How else would he be willing and able to travel with his family worldwide after being "deposed"? It seems that all of the people who take over countries, especially in Africa, but also worldwide, finally end up being run out by another military coup, and are found to have billions in Swiss bank accounts, while their citizens are left starving. When is the world at large going to recognize these financial "rapes", investigate how much was legally earned, and strip the foreign bank accounts to return the money to the rightful owners, the poor citizens of the countries? Look at Mugabe, he claims that his family's riches are legally earned, but that's dubious, when he "gave" key business and financial positions to his family members and political cronies. And it's still going on, while other countries send aid to try to help his impoverished citizens, which he then also manages to steal by diverting material, medical, and financial aid...
Mar 24, 2013 2:29 PM CDT
Anyone taking notice of how many ex-French African colonies are going down the tubes? Mali, then this Central African Republic... who's next. And can we stay out of the mess without being labled 'racist' ? There's not too much wrong in Africa that 30-years of good public education, development of infrastructure and a benevolent dictatorship couldn't accomplish. Maybe a democracy/republic isn't the best form of government for them? Not all cultures can accept 'being free'.