Son of C.Africa's ex-leader arrested: Police

AFP , Friday 5 Aug 2016

The son of the Central African Republic's ousted leader Francois Bozize was arrested on Friday in the capital Bangui, as the country struggles to restore security after years of sectarian violence, police said.

Jean Francis Bozize was defence minister in his father's cabinet.

He was arrested in the hotel he was staying in by criminal investigators from the gendarmerie security force, backed by a police unit of the UN peacekeeping mission deployed in the country, police said.

"Justice Minister Flavien Mbata should be making a statement in the coming hours," a government official said on condition of anonymity, with the exact reason for Bozize's arrest still unclear.

"Jean-Francis Bozize was part of former president Bozize's inner circle, (and) family members are under investigation by the Central African Republic's judiciary," a source in the prosecutor's office said.

Jean-Francis Bozize had returned from Nairobi, where he had been living since 2013, to Bangui in recent days.

Like other members of the family and high-ranking officials from the old regime, the former defence minister's assets had been frozen.

"He was trying to return to the country where he still has some property," a relative of Bozize said on condition of anonymity.

Bozize's son fled the Central African Republic on March 24, 2013, when the mainly Muslim Seleka rebellion overran Bangui.

The coup plunged the country into a brutal sectarian war that left thousands dead after the mainly Christian anti-Balaka militia hit back against the Seleka movement.

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