Central African Republic dictator in trouble as rebels capture more towns

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Central African Republic rebels captured two more towns overnight, just days before talks were due to open on the crisis in the impoverished country, an official said Saturday.

“The rebels took two towns near Bambari,” a town already under the control of the Seleka rebel coalition, Territorial Administration Minister Josue Binoua told AFP.

“This shows their intent to wage war even during negotiations,” he said.car

There was no immediate reaction from the rebels themselves to the claim.

The comments came just days before the central African regional bloc CEEAC hopes to start hosting talks between the rebels and President Francois Bozize in an effort to solve the nearly month-long crisis in the mineral-rich but impoverished and unstable country.

The rebels threw those plans into doubt on Friday when they contradicted claims by CEEAC officials that they had agreed to the talks due to begin in Gabon’s capital Libreville on Tuesday, saying they had not been informed of the initiative by the Economic Community of Central African States.

On Saturday, Binoua said the talks, which have the support of the UN Security Council and the United States, would proceed as planned.

“There will be three delegations of 15 members each – the government, rebels and opposition,” he said.

Bozize will head the government delegation while the opposition’s will be headed by the lawyer Nicolas Tiangaye, he added.

The rebels, who charge that Bozize has not abided by terms of earlier peace deals, launched an offensive on December 10 in the north and easily overran an ill-equipped and poorly trained army, marching across a large part of the country before halting their push within striking distance of the capital Bangui, in the south-west.

Rebel troops were stationed at Sibut, some 160 kilometres from the capital.

Also Saturday, the organiser of youth groups who have been manning roadblocks at night in Bangui said they would be largely replaced by CEEAC “vigilance committees”.

The youth groups known as Kokora (blood arrow) have come under criticism from the opposition and ordinary Bangui residents who say they increase rather than ease insecurity in the capital.

Their coordinator Levy Yakete said the CEEAC force would patrol the city’s main arteries to enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Kokora will continue to operate in the suburbs, he said, dismissing accusations that some of the youths were involved in extortion and were armed with machetes.

“We are fortunate to be prepared” if the rebels enter the city, he said.

Unrest in the landlocked equatorial country has alarmed the country’s neighbours and the international community, with the UN Security Council twice calling on Seleka to halt its offensive and engage in peace talks.

“The Security Council reiterated their demand that the Seleka coalition of armed groups cease all hostilities, withdraw from seized cities, and cease attempts to advance further,” said a statement released by the 15-nation body on Friday.

Binoua charged on Saturday that the seizure of two more towns was “screaming proof” that the rebels could not be trusted.

Central African nations have begun sending reinforcements to Damara, the last major town between the rebels and the capital, to bolster the army against the rebels.

The regional troops are fighting under the banner of the multinational African force FOMAC, which CEEAC launched in 2008 in a bid to stabilise the coup- and rebellion-prone country.

Northern neighbour Chad, whose President Idriss Deby is an ally of Bozize, has contributed most of the troops to the force, which is due to reach its full strength of 760 by the end of the week.

The violence in the country has affected more than 300,000 children, including through recruitment as child soldiers, family separation, sexual violence and forced displacement, UNICEF has said.

The Central African Republic, with a population of about five million, is notorious for unrest including coups, army mutinies and rebellions.

Bozize himself took power in a coup in 2003 and has since been twice elected into office.

AFP

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13 Responses to Central African Republic dictator in trouble as rebels capture more towns

  1. Oh no, this is happening in Central African Republic (CAR) NOT another Central African Republic like Zambia as i hoped!

    Kays - January 6, 2013
    15:17

  2. zambians its like you have cried for war for a long time coz i have been watching you now what you have been crying for is coming and everything will be of the past wait soon coz they say UKANKHALA PABWINO POIPA PAITANA now muzanya imwe no more zyantemba no more soweto all those will be fighting grounds

    MOSQUITO - January 6, 2013
    14:39

  3. WAR BY TALKING, ALL THIS FREEDOM YOU HAVE OF TALKING WILL BE GONE, WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS TO REMOVE A GOVERNMENT THROUGH LEGAL MEANS BUT IF YOU WANT LABLES NO PROBLEM A LOT OF YOUTHS ARE THERE I WILL MOBILISE THEM THEN SAY BYE TO FREEDOM FOR A WHILE COZ YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF IN MALAWI AS A REFUGEE

    DIASPORA - January 6, 2013
    14:30

  4. youngmen with nothing to do gettin satisfaction from blogin insults

    double tobela - January 6, 2013
    13:56

  5. I have no sympathy for dictators.

    Honest - January 6, 2013
    10:39

  6. Bozize. He resembles Sata. The lips, the forehead, the nose, an
    !diots evil face and all! Creepy!

    Kgalema - January 6, 2013
    10:09

  7. ChiSata claims he balances brains but the fool only finds those brains among his ethnic group, kwaliba?

    AmosMalupenga/GrorgeChellah - January 6, 2013
    09:47

  8. I cant wait for the scroundrel to be fished out of his comfort zone. He knows himself. Let his incompetent ill trained shushushu’s tell him the truth that he is no longer in the comfort zonr. He is sitting on a volcano which is just waiting for the right context to explode. No one shall contain it. Well trained security wings failed in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and even in Morocco where the King quicky read through and effected reforms. Watch the space

    Zingalume Phulantenga - January 6, 2013
    07:19

  9. Sata is next!

    Makasa - January 6, 2013
    07:12

  10. Let someone learn a lesson before it happens to him. He should stop messing up with pipo’s patience. He is a big fool for his country.

    Zingalume Phulantenga - January 6, 2013
    07:09

  11. The same fate awaits president Sata, rebels will soon fish him out of State House.

    iNkhosi Mzilikazi DiniZulu - January 6, 2013
    07:07

  12. Well, if Sata does not stop his tribally based appointments and his stinking dailly dosage of comedy instead of running the affairs of state in a stately manner, he will also sooner than later find himself in a whole Bozize pack of trouble. Rebels will spring from everywhere, bring guns accross Zambia’s Masebo porous borders to fish Zondwe out of State House back to Mbeya in Tanganyika where he illegally crossed into Zambia from 70 years ago.

    iNkhosi Mzilikazi DiniZulu - January 6, 2013
    07:06

    • Ha ha ha ha ha, jst go to state house in da evening and 2moro u wil b ambasador to germany. But lets hav this bozize eat his own fate, he shouldnt take other peoples energies for granted.. Go ahead seleka finish him, but watchout for cevillians, women and children.

      Kalembe kafyuke - January 6, 2013
      11:05