Rebel Leader Becomes President of CAR, Keeps Power-Sharing Government
Seleka rebel coalition leader Michel Djotodia has named himself as the President of the Central African Republic, after his forces seized control of the capital Bangui yesterday.
Djotodia has pledged to retain the power-sharing government put in place as part of the January peace deal which recently broke down.
“We will respect the Libreville accord: a political transition of 2 to 3 years before elections,” said Seleka spokesman Eric Massi. “The current prime minister remains in place and the cabinet will be slightly reshuffled.”
The power sharing deal draws together rebel leaders, members of the civilian opposition, and supporters of now deposed President Francois Bozize to for a government. Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, who will keep his job, belongs to the civilian opposition.
Fighting between government forces and rebels in the capital has now ended, but there are reports of looting across the city.
Seleka rebels launched a march on Bangui on Thursday, claiming that President Bozize had failed to release political prisoners and had broken the terms of January’s peace deal. The poorly equipped and trained armed forces of the Central African Republic put up little resistance. Over the weekend a small force of South African soldiers from a multinational force of peacekeepers attempted to prevent the rebels from entering the capital, but were quickly overwhelmed.
United Nations Condemns CAR Coup
The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon released a statement on Sunday condemning the “unconstitutional seizure of power” by rebels in the Central African Republic.
“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by reports of serious violations of human rights. He underscores that those who are responsible for committing such violations will be held accountable,” said the U.N. press office.
“The Secretary-General appeals for calm and for the respect of the rule of law in the CAR,” it said. “He is concerned by the dire humanitarian situation in the country and the reports of ongoing looting in the capital, Bangui, including of United Nations property.”
The statement also went on to urge rebel leaders to remember their “obligations to ensure the safety of all United Nations personnel and premises.”
Related Video: Looting, Fear Spreads Amid Scenes of Anarchy in Bangui
Recommended Articles from Around the Web
- S. Africa takes casualties during CAR coup (cbsnews.com)
- CAR coup leaders ‘must remain calm’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Central African Leader Bozize Flees After Rebels Capture Capital (bloomberg.com)