Former CAR president Patasse dies at 74

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The Independent Online

Ange-Felix Patasse, who led the desperately poor nation of Central African Republic for a decade before being ousted in a coup in 2003, has died at a hospital in neighbouring Cameroon. He was 74.

Mr Patasse returned from exile in late 2009 and finished second in January's presidential election. He lost to the current President Francois Bozize, who had overthrown him as head of an insurgent army.

Hospital officials said he died of complications from diabetes. Mr Patasse had been blocked from leaving the country for medical treatment on two occasions and had only been allowed to depart on Saturday.

Mr Patasse served in several positions as minister and then prime minister under former dictator Jean-Bedel Bokassa, before becoming president in 1993 and winning re-election in 1999.