CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Serious threat to region – UN

Seleka fighters in the capital Bangui. March 2013

The UN Security Council has warned that the Central African Republic (CAR) poses a “serious threat” to regional stability, following a rebel takeover in March.

There has been “a total breakdown in law and order” the Council said.

Aid agency Save the Children on Tuesday warned that more than 100,000 children faced sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups in the country.

CAR has gold and diamond deposits but has been unstable since independence.Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has taken advantage of years of unrest in CAR to set up bases in the country. CAR also shares borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan – all of which are plagued by numerous armed groups.

“The country runs the risk of descending into anarchy and chaos,” UN CAR envoy retired Lt Gen Babacar Gaye.

Map

Fighters from the Seleka coalition which seized power in March, with no chain of command, are said to be sustaining themselves with looting and crime. Gen Gaye said he was worried about plans to absorb some 1,000 former rebels into the police and paramilitary gendarmerie “without prior screening to determine their suitability,” reports the AP news agency.

He urged the Security Council to support the African Union’s 3,600-strong peacekeeping mission. About a third of the country’s 4.6 million people need assistance with food, shelter, health care or water, said UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, who recently visited the country.

More than 200,000 people have fled their homes and many are living rough in the bush, she said. Save the Children spokesman Mark Kaye on Tuesday told the BBC that the country’s healthcare system was in ruins after being looted.

“All the pharmacies have been hit. There are no medications, no drugs, equipment has been stolen.

“I’ve been to hospitals where even the mattresses have been stolen.”

Michel Djotodia, who seized power from President Francois Bozize when fighters from the Seleka rebel coalition marched into the capital, Bangui, on 24 March 2013, has promised to relinquish power after elections scheduled for 2016.

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3 thoughts on “CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Serious threat to region – UN

  1. I am reading up on the situation in CAR and I am trying to understand what the conflict with SELEKA is about. Do they have an agenda, besides looting and pillaging? Is it about religion land or ethnic rights or just money and power?

    • You’re right in the sense that it is very difficult to piece together their exact agenda. From the research I have done it seems that they are most displeased with President Francois Bozize’s lack of commitment to the Global Peace Accord that was created as an instrument to mediate between the rebel groups formed under the Seleka banner and the national government. Under the agreement, President Bozize agreed to install a coalition government where an opposition leader would be named prime minister and rebels, armed groups and civilians would be represented by this newly installed government. The Seleka rebels also demanded the release of political prisoners taken by the government during the uprising and the departure of soldiers from South Africa and Angola who were sent to support the government. In general, they doubt the legitimacy of Bozize’s power and accuse him of torture and illegal executions. They also believe that he has has not given the country’s north a voice in government and has failed to honor the terms of peace agreements signed with rebels. Ultimately, it seems that they want to be integrated into the government and national navy. Initially they wanted to oust Bozize altogether, but this was rejected as unconstitutional. It seems that their goals are so varied and muddled that perhaps this movement has spun into violence, pillaging and raiding just for the sake of violence, pillaging and raiding. Let me know what you learn in your research and thanks for commenting! (Also check out this article, it is one of the best I found on the issue: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/world/africa/rebels-agree-to-cease-fire-in-central-african-republic.html?_r=0)

    • Since power has been seized I really am not sure what their agenda is anymore. My former post only really addressed the reason they were formed, but why is there such chaos and violence now? That’s a real *head-scratcher*

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