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Ex CAR president circumvents UN sanctions by using S. Sudanese diplomatic passport: UN panel

August 1, 2018 (JUBA) - The UN Panel of Experts on the Central African Republic (CAR) said the former President François Bozizé circumvents sanctions including travel ban by using a South Sudanese diplomatic passport.

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President of the Central African Republic Francois Bozize (AFP)

On 10 May 2014, the Security Council imposed individual sanctions against Bozize, who was ousted by predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels in March 2013, Nourredine Adam, a leader of Seleka, and Levy Yakete, an “anti-balaka” Christian militia leader.

According to the resolution, a travel ban and asset freeze have been imposed on all three men for “engaging in or providing support for acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of CAR”.

However, in it midterm report to the Security Council on 23 July 2018 seen by Sudan Tribune, the panel referred it its final report of 2017 where it said that Bozizé circumvents the travel ban "most likely" by using counterfeit documents.

"The Panel suspected that Mr Bozizé had been travelling with a South Sudanese diplomatic passport bearing the name Samuel Peter Mudde," further said the experts who blamed the government in Juba for ignoring their demands for information about this passport.

The report in its recommendations further called on the South Sudanese government to respond to the requests of the panel on this passport saying they sent a letter to the Permanent Mission of South Sudan to the United Nations last February but it remains without response.

The Panel "Call upon the Government of South Sudan to provide information to the Committee on the South Sudanese diplomatic passport used by listed individual François Bozizé and the cancellation of that passport," reads the recommendation.

Bozizé who governed the CAR from 2003 to 2013 currently lives in Uganda. But the report said Kampala last June has requested the United Nations to relocate him to a third country " in order to “avoid any speculation or innuendos” regarding the implementation by Uganda of Security Council resolutions.

In an interview with the French Jeune Afrique published on 11 August 201, the former president of Central Africa Republic, Bozizé dismissed reports about trips to Uganda and South Sudan.

"All this is wrong. I did not go to Uganda, South Sudan, or South Africa. Since my departure from Bangui on March 24, I have been living in Yaoundé and Nairobi. The rest are fantasies," he asserted.

The weekly magazine said the interview had been conducted in Paris before the imposition of the targeted sanctions.

(ST)