CAR: Thousands Hold Demo To Demand Peace

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR) to demand peace and security.
People hold a demo at M'poko airport in Bangui, the Central African Republic, on August 29, 2013.
People hold a demo at M’poko airport in Bangui, the Central African Republic, on August 29, 2013.

The protest, called by civil society groups and youth organizations, took place on Monday in Bangui, where protesters carried banners reading “The Central African Republic is one and undivided” and “We want peace and security for the Central African people.”

“We urge the leaders of the transition taking place in Central Africa to make every effort to promote the sustainable return of peace” in order to “get on with the reconstruction of the country.” Said the chief organizer of the rally, Petit Delphon Kotto.

In a statement on August 29, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees said that thousands of people had been displaced over the past 10 days due to “arbitrary arrests, detention, torture, extortion, armed robberies, physical violence, restriction of movement, lootings and attacks on civilians.”

On August 18, Michel Djotodia, the former leader of the Seleka rebel coalition, was sworn in as the new president of the country.

Leading thousands of Seleka rebels, Djotodia captured Bangui and proclaimed himself president after seizing power on March 24.

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

An earlier UN report blamed the Seleka fighters 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.


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