April 23, 2013

UN Official Urges CAR Rebels To Establish Order

A UN official has called on the rebel leaders of the Central African Republic to establish law and order in the country.

 

United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman made the remarks at a press conference in the CAR capital Bangui on Monday.

Feltman urged the leaders of the Seleka rebels to protect civilians from attacks and to control fighters under their command.

 

“The Central African Republic cannot continue to be the forgotten crisis that emerges briefly on the international radar screen and then slips back into oblivion until the next tragic flare-up,” Feltman said.


“Winner-take-all politics has caused grave harm in the past,” he stated, adding, “A peaceful future will require dialogue and compromise between Central Africans.”

Meanwhile, nearly 400 rebels gathered in Bangui to demand that the country’s new leader, Michel Djotodia, pay them the bonuses they said they had been promised.

On January 11, former CAR President Francois Bozizé and representatives of the Seleka rebels signed an agreement in Libreville, Gabon after three days of negotiations brokered by regional neighbors.

But the deal fell through, and Djotodia, leading thousands of Seleka rebels, captured Bangui and proclaimed himself president after seizing power from Bozizé on March 24.

Following the coup, Djotodia created a transitional government headed by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye and promised elections in three years.

The Seleka fighters launched an offensive against the 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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