September 14, 2013

CAR: President Djotodia Dissolves Seleka Rebel Coalition

The president of the Central African Republic (CAR), Michel Djotodia, has ordered the dissolution of the Seleka rebel coalition.
Seleka fighters in the Central African Republic (file photo)
Seleka fighters in the Central African Republic (file photo)

Djotodia, who is the former leader of the rebel group, announced the dissolution on Friday, saying the coalition “no longer exists.”

The Seleka rebels launched an offensive against the CAR government in December 2012.

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

However, 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.

A recent UN report blamed the Seleka rebels for much of the chaos in the country, saying “uncontrolled Seleka elements and unidentified armed groups” in the country committed “arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks.”

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.

Agencies

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