World
Eight run for C. African Republic presidency, violence flares
Publish Date: Jan 20, 2014
Eight run for C. African Republic presidency, violence flares
CAR president Michel Djotodia resigned last week
  • mail
  • img
newvision

BANGUI - Central African Republic lawmakers shortlisted eight candidates, including two sons of former leaders, to run for interim president in a vote on Monday and pull the country out of months of turmoil and sectarian killings.

Whoever is chosen will face the challenge of ending a cycle of violence that on Sunday saw crowds kill two men they said were Muslims and drag their bodies through the streets of the capital Bangui, then set them on fire.

The Red Cross also said it had buried around 50 bodies within the past 48 hours after fighting flared in the northwest.

The landlocked former French colony descended into chaos in March after a mostly Muslim rebel coalition, Seleka, marched into the capital, unleashing a wave of killings and looting.

That triggered revenge attacks by Christian militia known as "anti-balaka" (anti-machete).

Seleka and the anti-balaka groups have continued to launch sporadic tit-for-tat killings, despite the presence of 1,600 French troops and nearly 5,000 African Union peacekeepers.

A senior U.N. official warned last week the conflict could slip into genocide.

CANDIDATES


Members of the transitional assembly were expected to select one of the candidates as interim president on Monday after former Seleka leader Michel Djotodia resigned as president under international pressure over his failure to end the bloodshed.

Assembly vice president Lea Koyassoum Doumta said the eight included Bangui mayor Catherine Samba-Panza; Desiré Kolingba, son of former president Andre Kolingba; and businessman Sylvain Patasse, son of ex-president Ange-Felix Patasse.

To qualify, the candidates had to show they had no link to Seleka, or the forces behind the "anti-balaka" militia.

But many have had first hand experience of the nation's political turmoil, particularly the former presidents' sons.

General Andre Kolingba seized power in a 1981 military coup and ruled the country until 1993 when he was defeated by Ange-Felix Patasse in a democratic election. He died in Paris in February 2010.

Patasse, ruled the country for two terms but consecutive mutinies within the army led to his ouster by former President Francois Bozize in 2003. He died in Cameroon in April 2011.

Central African Republic has seen five coups and several rebellions since in won independence in 1960. It remains one of Africa's poorest nations, for all its mineral riches.

A crowd set upon two men they said were Muslims in Bangui on Sunday after hearing reports a taxi driver had been kidnapped by Seleka gunmen, residents said.

The remains of one of the men was stoned and stabbed, said witnesses.

Both bodies were taken to a roundabout in the centre of the city and set alight before French peacekeepers arrived at the scene.

"As long as Muslims continue, we will also continue to do so," a man in the crowd who only gave his name as Yacinte, told Reuters.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said fresh inter-communal violence had flared in the west and northwest, without giving exact details of when.

"Red Cross staff and volunteers have buried some 50 bodies discovered in the area around Bossembélé, Boyali and Boali," its statement read.

"Much of the population, in danger of reprisals and with no-one to protect them, have fled their homes and are hiding in the bush," it added.

More than a million people have fled the violence and more than 1,000 people were killed last month in the capital alone, according to U.N. figures.

European Union foreign ministers were expected to agree on Monday to send up to 1,000 soldiers to help stabilise the country.

Central African Republic is supposed to hold elections by February 2015, according to the terms of regionally brokered peace plans that set up the governing National Transitional Council in March last year.

Reuters

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Ousted Burkina president arrives in Morocco from Ivory Coast
Burkina Faso''s deposed president Blaise Compaore arrived in Morocco from Ivory Coast, where he has been in exile since his ouster in a popular revolt last month, the Moroccan foreign ministry announced early Friday....
Pop stars climb stairway to heaven early: Australian study
It's long been said that pop stars live fast and die young, but a new Australian study has added scholarly credibility to the adage, finding that US musicians die up to 25 years earlier than the general population....
Fear of Boko Haram wrecks tourist business in Cameroon
Tourists once flocked to the rugged far north of Cameroon for its wildlife and spectacular scenery, until cross-border raids by the Nigerian Islamist extremists of Boko Haram all but halted such visits....
Global
The number of people killed globally in terrorist attacks jumped by 61 percent in 2013, reflecting the rise of Boko Haram and Islamic State jihadists, the Institute for Economics and Peace said Tuesday....
Burkina Faso’s Michel Kafando sworn in as interim president
Burkina Faso’s Michel Kafando has been sworn in as the interim president for one year...
United Nations mourns anti-Ebola envoy Rudasingwa
The UN has conveyed condolences to the family of the late Marcel Kanyankore Rudasingwa, a Rwandan who was in October appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as the point man in the fight against Ebola in Guinea, Rwanda's The New Times reported....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter