Benin ready to grant François Bozize asylum By ESTHER TOLA in Cotonou | Friday, April 5   2013 at  09:31

Ousted Central African Republic president François Bozize. PHOTO | FILE 

Benin is ready to welcome ousted Central African Republic President François Bozize.

The announcement was made Thursday by Benin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arifari Bako, in an interview with AFP.

This comes after a summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) which took place on Wednesday in N’Djamena and that was essentially focused on the fate of the Central African Republic.

Benin’s President Boni Yayi took part in the meeting where he is reported to have consulted with the CEEAC Heads of States on whether or not to grant Bozize asylum.

Actually it is understood the request for asylum had come from Bozize himself. The ousted leader had previously lived in the country as an exile from 1982 to 1988 after he came under suspicion of preparing a coup by the regime in power at the time.

Before making any decision about this request, President Yayi had decided to attend the CEEAC meeting and get the opinion of the regional organisation’s Heads of States. On Wednesday, the latter agreed that Benin could welcome Bozize.

According to Minister Bako, all that Benin is waiting for is for Bozize to make his asylum request official.

Currently the ousted strongman is in Cameroon where he is staying in a hotel after the Seleka rebellion waged an offensive on Bangui and overthrew him ten days ago.