In the Central African Republic, 23 people including the country’s former president, François Bozizé, and several important rebel leaders are sentenced to forced labor for life, for the armed offensive carried out at the time of the December 2020 presidential election.
Former Central African President François Bozizé, now leader in exile of the main rebel coalition, was sentenced Thursday to forced labor for life in Bangui, notably for “conspiracy” And “rebellion», According to a judgment sent to AFP on Friday by the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Bozizé, who seized power in 2003 in a coup before being overthrown 10 years later by rebels, was sentenced to this sentence in absentia like two of his sons and twenty other co- accused, including important rebel leaders.
They were all also sentenced for “attack on the internal security of the State” And “assassinations», according to the judgment read by Joachim Pessire, First President of the Court of Appeal of Bangui which judges at first instance for criminal cases. The judgment does not specify the crimes or the period concerned. Mr. Bozizé, 76, a refugee in Chad until March 2023, when he went into exile in Guinea-Bissau, is the coordinator of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), the main Central African rebel coalition formed in December 2020 and who is pursuing a guerrilla war in the north of the country.
Ali Darassa, fugitive military leader of the Unit for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), the main component of the CPC, is among those sentenced. Civil war has been tearing apart the Central African Republic, one of the poorest countries in the world, since 2013 when a coalition of armed groups dominated by Muslims, the Séléka, overthrew Mr. Bozizé, who then organized and armed so-called anti-balaka militias. , mainly Christians and animists, to try to regain power. The conflict, extremely deadly in the first years, has considerably decreased in intensity since 2018.