Central African Republic's Bozize slams 'shameful' election ban

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Francois BozizeImage source, AFP
Image caption,
The former president was ousted in 2013 by Seleka rebels and lives in exile

The former president of Central African Republic (CAR) has called the ban on him from running in the country's election a "shameful decision".

Gunfire was heard on Tuesday night after the 30 presidential candidates were announced, reports AFP.

Francois Bozize is one of 14 candidates banned from running for office in the vote scheduled for 27 December.

He accused the constitutional court of banning him because of foreign pressure.

Mr Bozize was president of CAR for 10 years until he fled to neighbouring Cameroon in 2013 when a group of mostly Muslim rebels - called the Seleka - briefly took control of the country.

This sparked reprisals from a mainly Christian militia, called the anti-Balaka, who are seen as close to Mr Bozize.

Violence between the rival militias has killed thousands and displaced nearly a quarter of the CAR population.

Pope Francis recently urged rival factions to stop fighting, when he visited a mosque in the capital, Bangui.

The UN sanctions committee accused Mr Bozize of "providing support to acts which undermined the peace".

He is banned by the UN from travelling and his assets have been frozen.

Patrice-Edouard Ngaissona, a leader of the anti-Balaka, was also banned from running for president.

On Friday, Nourredine Adam, who heads a Seleka splinter group, said he would not allow elections to go ahead in the areas under his control, including the northern town of Kaga-Bandoro.

The election has already been delayed from 18 October.