Bangui: The government of Central African Republic has accused former president Francois Bozize of plotting a coup as political tension and violence rise ahead of the country’s December 27 general election.

The government said in a statement on Saturday, West Africa Standard Time, that Bozize plotted with members of his family and a number of armed groups to attack two towns near the capital Bangui after the country’s top court rejected his candidacy.

It also said Bozize has amassed men in the outskirts of the town of Bossembele and planned to march to Bangui. “It is manifestly an attempted coup,” Ange Maxime Kazagui, spokesman for the government said in a broadcast on national television.

Bozize, who had previously accepted the court’s decision, could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

The rising tension prompted the United Nations’ peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic to deploy troops to disperse armed rebel groups that had occupied roads and towns near Bangui, and are threatening to disrupt the election.

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