Ex-Leaders Blamed for Rebels’ Coup in Central African Republic

FORMER elected and self-imposed presidents have been blamed for the crisis in Central African Republic where 14 separate armed groups have taken control of the country. This has rendered the government of President Faustin-Archange Touadéra futile. At least 287 civilians have been killed in the last few weeks.

Both François Bozizé, president between 2003 and 2013, and Michel Djotodia, who overthrew him, reportedly continue playing a frontline role in the political and military instability and seeking to exploit the situation for personal gain through sponsoring the armed groups. Since 2015, the factions behind the two figures have made numerous attempts to secure a blanket amnesty, under the burden of international sanctions. This is against the popular demands that perpetrators of the lawlessness be brought to book. Last December, several Séléka leaders attended Angola-backed mediation talks in Luanda, at the behest of Touadéra. However, the meeting report, which has been a closely guarded secret until now, reveals a “war crimes amnesty as a political and legal solution to help settle disputes”, and “special dispensation for former heads of state. This creates an official, ceremonial status and rank that would allow them to remain in the country.” At the height of the crisis in 2014, the conflict resembled a civil war between the country’s two main religious groups, with Christians and Muslims complicit, the rights group Enough Project said. “It remains a sectarian conflict today,” he said.

Last December, several Séléka leaders attended Angola-backed mediation talks in Luanda, at the behest of Touadéra. However, the meeting report, which has been a closely guarded secret until now, reveals a “war crimes amnesty as a political and legal solution to help settle disputes”, and “special dispensation for former heads of state. This creates an official, ceremonial status and rank that would allow them to remain in the country.” At the height of the crisis in 2014, the conflict resembled a civil war between the country’s two main religious groups, with Christians and Muslims complicit, the rights group Enough Project said. “It remains a sectarian conflict today,” he said.

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Source: CAJ News Agency

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