Central African Republic
François Bozizé came to power in 2003 after orchastrating a coup to overthrow the government, and was sworn in as the current president of the Central African Republic in 2005.
Government of the Central African Republic
Working primarily in:
Central African Republic
Description of Work:
François Bozizé Yangouvonda (born October 14, 1946) came to power in
March 2003 after leading a rebellion against President Ange-Félix
Patassé. He won the country's 2005 presidential election, receiving the
most votes in the first round in March 2005, but less than a majority,
requiring a second round, which he won in May 2005.
born in Gabon, a member of Gbaya people, and attended a military
officers' training college in the Central African province of Bouar. He
served as a second lieutenant, a lieutenant, and a captain in 1975. He
was appointed brigadier-general by Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa in 1978,
and later Minister of Defense by David Dacko after Bokassa was ousted
in 1979. Following Dacko's own ouster by André Kolingba in September
1981, Bozizé was appointed Minister of Information and Culture, but
fled into exile after being accused of involvement in a coup attemptled
by Patassé in early March 1982. After being arrested in Cotonou, Benin
in July 1989, Bozizé was imprisoned and tortured, but he was acquitted
in December 1991.
In 1993 elections were held by Kolingba and
Bozizé became a presidential candidate. He took only 1.5% of the vote,
and conceeded defeat to the newly elected Patassé. Bozizé was appointed
Army Chief of Staff under Patasse, and for many years was considered a
supporter, helping the president suppress army mutinies in 1996 and
On May 28, 2001, however, there was a failed coup
attempt against Patassé which Bozizé was suspected of orchstarting. He
was dismissed from his position, and in October troops attempted to
arrest him. Fighting erupted between Bozizé's supporters and Patassé's
army, and Bozizé fled north to Chad. The fighting between the army and
Bozizé's rebels continued through 2002 with Congoloese troops lending
support to Patassé.
On March 15, 2003, Bozizé finally
succeeded in seizing power, with his forces entering Bangui unopposed.
Patassé was returning from a meeting in Niger at the time, but could
not land because Bozizé's forces controlled the airport. Patassé took
refuge in Cameroon and then Togo.
Upon establishing a
transitional government and seizing power, Bozizé suspended the
country's 1995 constitution and a new constitution, reportedly similar
to the old one, was approved by voters in a referendum on December 5,
2004. Bozizé initially said he would not run in a planned future
presidential election, but after the successful constitutional
referendum, he announced his intention to stand as a candidate in the
Bozizé came in first in the March 13
election, taking just under 43% of the vote according to official
results. He faced Patassé's last prime minister, Martin Ziguélé, in a
second round of voting held on May 8. According to official results
announced on May 24, he won with 64.6% of the vote and was sworn in on
June 11, 2005. The newly-elected president called for national unity,
and pledged in his campaign to bring security to the coup-prone country.
(Information found at bbc.co.uk and wikipedia.com)
(At a Glance)
Place of Origin: Central African Republic