Central African Republic Leader Orders Arrest Of Own Son

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The president of the Central African Republic (CAR) ordered the arrest of his own son over a large unpaid hotel bill the young man rang up in the capital city of Bangui.

Police detained Francois Bozize's son, Kevin, after he refused to pay a bill of up to 12,000 euros ($15,000) at the five-star Ledger Plaza hotel.

 

A hotel manager was also held by authorities.

 

"Having been informed of the situation, his father summoned both of them and in front of the manager he [Kevin] confirmed that he stayed at the hotel and said he paid all the bills," a source told Agence France Presse.

 

"Both he and the manager were detained... but after the facts were verified, the manager was freed."

 

Bozize the younger is being held by the investigative arm of the national police (SRI).

 

AFP noted that other officials of Bozize's regime have also incurred large debts at the luxurious hotel.

 

"The head of state then realised that other figures, especially army officers, were in the same situation. He has demanded that they immediately pay their bills or risk being put on trial," the source told AFP.

 

President Bozize may have larger problems than a deadbeat offspring.

 

Last month, he reportedly warded off a coup attempt.

 

Reuters reported that CAR security forces arrested three men for plotting to overthrow President Bozize.

 

CAR is one of the poorest and most unstable countries on earth – coups, political violence and corruption are rife.

 

Francois Bozize, who seized power in 2003 coup himself, has long been criticized for engineering fradulent “elections.”

 

CAR is also rich in natural resources.

 

In a 2010 report, the International Crisis Group wrote: ''President François Bozize keeps tight control of the diamond sector to enrich and empower his own ethnic group but does little to alleviate the poverty that drives informal miners to dig in perilous conditions.”

 

The report added: ''Stringent export taxes incentivise smuggling that the mining authorities are too few and too corrupt to stop. These factors combined - a parasitic state, poverty and largely unchecked crime - move jealous factions to launch rebellions and enable armed groups to collect new recruits and profit from mining and selling diamonds illegally.''

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