April 19, 2013

African States To Send 2,000 troops To Central African Republic

African leaders have decided to send an additional 2,000 soldiers to the Central African Republic (CAR) in an attempt to restore order to the coup-hit country.

 

A Seleka fighter in the Central African Republic
A Seleka fighter in the Central African Republic

During a summit organized by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in the Chadian capital N’Djamena on Thursday, regional leaders said in a statement that the soldiers would be sent to the CAR to assist its transitional government.

The statement also said that the troops would restructure security forces in the African nation.

On April 3, African leaders meeting in Chad refused to recognize the presidency of Michel Djotodia — the Seleka rebel leader who declared himself president after overthrowing CAR President Francois Bozizé on March 24 — and demanded the formation of a transitional council to lead the country to elections in 18 months.

On April 13, Djotodia was unanimously elected president by the National Transitional Council — a 105-member transitional parliament — in a ceremony that was attended by political leaders, the press and representatives of international organizations.

Djotodia, who agreed not to seek re-election at the end of the transitional period, told the delegates of the council, “I will do as you instruct me to do, and not according to my wishes.”

The Seleka rebels started the offensive against the former CAR government in December 2012.

There are many mineral resources, including gold and diamonds, in the Central African Republic. However, the country is extremely poor and has faced a series of rebellions and coups since it gained independence in 1960.

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