Literal skeletons found in deposed president’s closet (OK, garage)

Looters ransacking one of the deserted homes of former Central African Republic President François Bozizé apparently made an extremely unpleasant discovery last month after rebels overthrew the government: two human skeletons stashed in two holes beneath the ousted leader’s garage floor (see the picture above). AFP has more: At the house in Sassara, on the ...

PATRICK FORT/AFP/Getty Images
PATRICK FORT/AFP/Getty Images
PATRICK FORT/AFP/Getty Images

Looters ransacking one of the deserted homes of former Central African Republic President François Bozizé apparently made an extremely unpleasant discovery last month after rebels overthrew the government: two human skeletons stashed in two holes beneath the ousted leader's garage floor (see the picture above). AFP has more:

At the house in Sassara, on the outskirts of the capital Bangui, Colonel Ali Garba -- one of the Seleka rebels whose coalition toppled Bozize from power last month -- gives a tour....

He indicates the spot where the bodies were found, at the back of the garage, stowed in two-metre deep recesses underneath square tiles. All that now remains in the space is a scrap of coloured fabric.

Looters ransacking one of the deserted homes of former Central African Republic President François Bozizé apparently made an extremely unpleasant discovery last month after rebels overthrew the government: two human skeletons stashed in two holes beneath the ousted leader’s garage floor (see the picture above). AFP has more:

At the house in Sassara, on the outskirts of the capital Bangui, Colonel Ali Garba — one of the Seleka rebels whose coalition toppled Bozize from power last month — gives a tour….

He indicates the spot where the bodies were found, at the back of the garage, stowed in two-metre deep recesses underneath square tiles. All that now remains in the space is a scrap of coloured fabric.

"I saw them. They were bones with no flesh. The people had been dead for a while, at least several months, maybe more," he says….

As he scoured the completely ransacked house, Garba says he also found the dead body of a presidential guard, apparently killed during clashes between Bozize’s supporters and rebels.

"The Red Cross collected the body of the guard and the skeletons," Garba says, a claim backed up by near neighbours.

The Red Cross could not however be contacted to find out where the skeletons were taken.

AFP says authorities have yet to identify the bodies or determine whether the victims were opponents of Bozizé, who fled to Cameroon in late March. But the news agency floats one other possibility about the remains:

Ritual killings are a known phenomenon in Central Africa, designed to empower or bring good fortune to whoever orders the murder. Bones belonging to those killed are sometimes also trafficked for use in witchcraft.

If it was good fortune the deposed leader was seeking, he seems to have come up short.

Uri Friedman is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, he reported for the Christian Science Monitor, worked on corporate strategy for Atlantic Media, helped launch the Atlantic Wire, and covered international affairs for the site. A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Barcelona, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland. Twitter: @UriLF

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