Francois Bozize, a former president of Central African Republic who became a rebel leader, has left neighbouring Chad under a deal taking him to a new place of exile, the CAR's foreign minister said on Monday.
Bozize, 76, has been accepted by the West African state of Guinea-Bisseau, Foreign Minister Mahamat Saleh Annadif told AFP.
He left last Friday under a deal between the CAR, Chad and Angola that was agreed in the Angolan capital Luanda on February 17, he said.
"Guinea-Bissau agreed to take him in, he's been there since March 3," he added.
Bozize, a former general, seized power in the CAR in 2003 but was toppled a decade later, unleashing a civil conflict along sectarian lines.
Defying UN sanctions for his presumed role in the crisis, he fled to Uganda, slipping home in 2020 in a bid to contest presidential elections and then donning the mantle of rebel leader.
He went to Chad at the end of 2021 after government troops recovered swathes of territory with the help of Russian paramilitaries.
Bozize's presence in Chad while his Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) waged a guerilla war in northern CAR strained bilateral ties. The CAR accused Chad of allowing the rebels to operate from its soil.
"Mr Bozize went to Chad at Angola's request and in line with an agreement with the CAR authorities," said Saleh Annadif.
"The change in the situation has shown that the Central African Republic is no longer in favour of his presence in Chad as a neighbouring country."
In Guinea-Bissau, an advisor to President Umaro Sissoco Embalo confirmed Bozize had arrived last Friday.
"He's been accepted purely on humanitarian grounds," the adviser told AFP, asking not to be named.
Civil conflict has torn CAR, one of world's poorest countries, since 2013 when Muslim-dominated armed groups ousted Bozize.
Bozize set up armed militias known as the anti-Balakas, who were mainly Christian, to try to regain power.
The conflict lost intensity from 2018, but the country still suffers bouts of violence and remains deeply poor.
Both sides have been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the United Nations.
The UN and Western capitals also accuse CAR's army and Russian paramilitaries -- as well as today's rebels -- of committing atrocities.