No Bad Blood?
Bangui saw an unexpected half-hour private meeting on Friday between former Central African Republic President François Bozizé and his longtime arch enemy Michel Djotodia — who assumed his position after ousting him from power seven years ago by way of the Muslim-majority militia coalition Seléka.
Bozizé had been in exile and also placed under United Nations (UN) sanctions on suspicion of supporting anti-balaka self-defence groups dominated by Christians and animists.
The 2013 putsch spiralled now one of the poorest nations in Africa into massacre filled clashes of ethnic communities. The violence which - according to the UN who has also accused both coalitions of war crimes, has since taken between 3,000 and 6,000 mostly civilian lives.
Michel Djotodia, former Central African president, shared some words after the meeting, "I believe that he is a man of peace, there is no need to attribute intentions that are not his own to him. I assure you that we get along well. There are no worries."
The encounter, graced with the presence of the current president Faustin Archange Touadéra the day before, came at the height of presidential electoral calendar delay rumours.
Many opposition parties, members of civil society and comments in the Central African media show that most in the country are convinced that the presidential and legislative elections of December 27 will be postponed.
The civil war in the Central African Republic has entered a phase of low intensity since 2016. However, more than two-thirds of the nation is under rebel militiamen who often subject civilians to abusive maltreatment in spite of the February 2019 peace agreement signed in Khartoum between 14 armed groups and the government.