Rebels want CAR President Bozize to go

Jan. 7, 2013 at 11:42 AM
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PARIS, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the rebel alliance fighting in Central Africa Republic said Monday that President Francois Bozize has lost his credibility to rule the country.

The Seleka rebel coalition started an anti-government campaign last month, accusing Bozize's government of reneging on a 2008 peace deal. The rebel coalition, which holds a significant parts of the country's northern regions, is meeting with regional delegates in Gabon for peace talks this week.

Eric Massi, a spokesman for the rebel coalition, told al-Jazeera from Paris that Bozize had lost credibility.

"He has to leave power," Massi said.

Had Bozize agreed to a peaceful transfer of power during the initial stages of the conflict "it would have been a great solution," Massi added.

Bozize's government had issued pleas for support from the United States and France, the former colonial power. France has around 400 troops in the country and the South African government said recently it was sending at least 400 soldiers to CAR to aid national forces.

Massi said Seleka wasn't interested in a violent takeover should peace talks in Gabon fail.

"I would like to have a political solution," he told the Arab broadcaster. "But please don't let us go to war that we don't want, because we are the people of Central African Republic and we want peace."

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