Former president of the Central African Republic, François Bozizé has taken charge of a rebel alliance aimed at overthrowing the central government, according to the body’s spokesman.
Bozizé’s spokesman Serge Bozanga on Sunday confirmed that Bozize had agreed in February to become the general coordinator of the so-called Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), which attempted to block the reelection of President Faustin Archange Touadera.
According to official figures, President Touadera won re-election in the first round of the polls, but the turnout was just 35 percent as many voters were unable to cast their ballot.
Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) brought together six of the armed groups controlling much of the country in mid-December to launch the offensive against Touadera, just over a week before presidential and legislative elections.
But facing a UN peacekeeping force as well as hundreds of Russian and Rwandan soldiers deployed in late December, the rebels have been in retreat since their attack on the capital Bangui in January was thwarted.
Earlier, the country’s constitutional court had blocked Bozizé’s bid to stand in December presidential polls, saying he was under UN sanctions over claims he supported militias responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 2013-14 conflict.
Thousands of people have died in the CAR since 2013 and over a quarter of the population of 4.9 million have had to flee their homes.
The Central African Republic has seen a string of coups and wars since it gained independence from France in 1960 and violence is rife as two-thirds of the territory is controlled by militia groups.