African leader in exile plea after fleeing rebels

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Ousted Central African Republic president Francois Bozize has requested exile in the tiny West African nation of Benin, days after rebels invaded and overthrew his government that had been in power for a decade.

Benin’s foreign minister, Nassirou Arifari Bako, confirmed that Mr Bozize had made such a request.

“It is true that he has asked Benin to welcome him, but nothing has been decided yet,” Mr Bako said. “It’s a delicate subject.”

Thousands of armed rebels invaded the capital of Central African Republic last weekend, and Mr Bozize and his family fled to neighbouring Cameroon amid the chaos. Thirteen South African soldiers were killed in the intense fighting, and an untold number of civilians died.

A South African military official in Uganda said all its wounded soldiers had been airlifted back to South Africa after being stabilised in Uganda.

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