CAR Rebel Leader Suspends Constitution
By VOA News
The rebel leader in the Central African Republic says he is suspending the constitution and will rule by decree, following a coup that ousted the nation’s president of 10 years.
Seleka rebel leader Michel Djotodia announced Monday that he will name a power-sharing government and set elections for 2016. The rebel leader also declared himself interim president and announced that Nicolas Tiangaye will retain the post of prime minister.
In an interview with VOA, Tiangaye said he will continue to work with Seleka despite the suspension of the constitution. He said a transitional legislative council will be established to aid in the transition, and that all political forces are welcome to participate in the new government.
On Tuesday, rebel forces patrolled the streets of Bangui to crack down on looters after aid groups reported that their facilities were looted in the aftermath of the coup.
Thousands of rebel fighters poured into the capital on Saturday, forcing longtime President Francois Bozize into exile. At least 13 South African soldiers were killed and 27 wounded during an attempt to block their path.
Bozize has led CAR since taking power in a 2003 coup. CAR has a history of coups and unrest since winning independence from France in 1960.
Following the rebel takeover of Bangui, the African Union suspended CAR’s membership and ordered sanctions against the rebel leaders.
The United States condemned the ousting of President Bozize, but stopped short of calling for him to be reinstated. On Tuesday, a State Department spokesman warned that more than $2 million in aid could be suspended in the wake of the CAR coup.
“It is just the implementation of the agreement of Libreville,” said Tiangaye. “They picked the prime minister among democratic opposition and I was chosen with Seleka’s approval. Now we have to continue especially with the international community.”
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