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2003 Central African Republic coup d'état

A coup d'état occurred in March 2003 in the Central African Republic when the forces of General François Bozizé marched on Bangui, the country's capital, while President Ange-Félix Patassé was at a regional conference in Niger. While he was away, Bozizé led 1,000 fighters to the capital city of Bangui and captured the international airport and the presidential palace. Government troops, many of whom had not been paid in months, put up little resistance. The 370 CEMAC peacekeepers abandoned their posts rather than fight. A curfew was imposed afterwards by Bozizé and the constitution was suspended. President Patassé, meanwhile, fled the country to nearby Cameroon when rebels shot at his plane. Militants from Chad were spotted among the rebel fighters, but the President of Chad, Idriss Déby, denied providing any military support to Bozizé. At least fifteen people were killed.[1][2]

2003 CAR coup d'état
DateMarch 2003
Result President Patassé overthrown, General Bozizé suspends constitution and declares curfew

Central African Republic Supporters of François Bozizé
Alleged support:

 Chad (denied by Chad)

Central African Republic Government of the Central African Republic

Commanders and leaders
General François Bozizé[1] President Ange-Félix Patassé[1]
Units involved
Unknown Central African Armed Forces[1]

Central African Republic Unknown

Democratic Republic of the Congo 370 soldiers[2]
Casualties and losses

Central African Republic Unknown

Democratic Republic of the Congo 3 soldiers killed[1]

France deployed a number of troops to the country for the first time in four years in order to protect foreign nationals.[3] After the coup, Bozizé created a new division in the Central African Armed Forces, made up of "patriots" who took part in the coup with him, called the Republican Guard. They committed numerous crimes against civilians in the capital.[4]

International responseEdit


See alsoEdit