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Vol 44 No 14

Published 11th July 2003

Central African Republic

Leaving the door open

The latest strongman needs democratic frontmen to bring aid and recognition

It is a measure of the uncertainty and wariness surrounding the Central African Republic's new government that the Mozambican leader explained to the world on 6 July that Bangui was not invited to the African Union summit 'because we did not know who to invite'. President Joaquim Chissano attempted to leave the door open but compounded the doubts by adding, 'We are going to wait and see if there is any change in that country by the 10 July'. Major General François Bozizé, who seized power in March (AC Vol 44 No 6) but has said he will not stand for President after the transition in 2005, is now seeking to dispel the doubts, largely by surrounding himself with politicians with democratic track-records. The AU officially rejects governments which have seized power by force but has already made plenty of exceptions, so Bozizé can expect to attend the next summit.

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