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Central Africa Politics

Military Repels Attempt to Seize CAR’s Capital, Bangui – PM

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The Security forces in the Central African Republic (CAR) have repulsed an attack by armed groups seeking to seize the capital, Bangui, Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada said on Wednesday.

The PM added that the incident happened in the early hours of Wednesday.

The assault represents a marked escalation in fighting with rebel groups that erupted around a disputed Dec. 27 election.

The groups attacked towns close to Bangui last month but did not reach the capital as intended.

According to an eyewitness in Bangui heard explosions and later saw helicopters circling over the city.

“The attackers, who came in large numbers to take Bangui, have been vigorously pushed back,’’ Ngrebada said in a statement.

He also urged citizens to remain calm.

The gold- and diamond-rich country of 4.7 million has been hit by violence since former president Francois Bozize was ousted by a rebellion in 2013.

Thousands have been killed and more than a million forced from their homes.

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Central Africa Politics

DR Congo Frees 24 Jailed for Assassination of Ex-President Laurent Kabila

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The Democratic Republic of Congo has released 24 prisoners jailed over their roles in the assasination of former President Laurent Kabila.

Laurent Kabila was shot and killed by a bodyguard, Rashidi Muzele, in his palace in January 2001. The bodyguard was himself shot dead while attempting to flee the scene of the crime.

Prosecutors said the assassination was part of a coup attempt led by Colonel Eddy Kapend, Kabila’s closest personal aide, and a court sentenced him and more than two dozen others to death.

Now, following a presidential pardon by President Felix Tshisekedi, the accused were released from prison in the capital, Kinshasa, after nearly 20 years incarceration.

Kabila’s former ally, Kapend, is among those freed in what the Congolese government said was a show of “humanity, pardon, justice and national reconciliation.”

However, the move is seen as a further deepening of the rift between Tshisekedi and Joseph Kabila – who succeeded his father, Laurent, as president after his assassination.

Joseph, who stepped down as president in 2019 and was replaced by Tshisekedi, repeatedly resisted calls to pardon Kapend and the others.

For two years Tshisekedi was in a coalition with Joseph Kabila. But a deep rift has developed between DR Congo’s two most powerful politicians and Tshisekedi is now trying to distance himself from his predecessor and remove Kabila loyalists from the government.

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President Faustin-Archange Touadera Imposes Curfew in the CFR Over Rebel Attacks

President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who has won a second term as the country’s leader, has reiterated his commitment to peace.

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President Faustin-Archange Touadera of Central African Republic (CAR) has declared a nationwide, overnight curfew following repeated armed attacks in the country.

In a statement late Thursday, Albert Yaloke Mokpem, a spokesman for the presidency said, “A curfew has been imposed throughout the Central African territory from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.”

The curfew comes amid continuous rebel attacks across the country which have prompted United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, to urge all parties to cease hostilities and ensure peace.

The unrest which the CAR, a landlocked central African country, is currently experiencing, has been tense after the Constitutional Council rejected former President Francois Bozize’s candidacy for the Dec. 27, 2020 elections.

in a coup in 2003, the former general seized power, but was later overthrown in a rebellion which took place 2013.

Ever since, civilians, armed forces, and UN peacekeeping forces have continuously been attacked by several militia groups.

In 2020, 424 incidents of violence directly affecting humanitarian workers or property were registered compared to 306 in 2019, representing a 39 per cent increase.

President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who has won a second term as the country’s leader, has reiterated his commitment to peace.

Several opposition parties rejected the results of the elections held on Dec. 27 and called for their cancellation.

Senior officials from the United Nations and other regional organizations have urged all political actors in the country to respect the results from the Dec. 27 polls and to settle all disputes peacefully in accordance with the laws of the country.

This curfew comes in a time when the country, like several other African nations, is battling the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some say the restriction of movement imposed throughout the Central African territory from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m, could in controlling the spread of the coronavirus.

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C.A.R Elections: Opposition Candidates Call for Annulment, Rerun

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No fewer than 10 defeated presidential candidates in the Central African Republic (CAR) have called for the annulment of the presidential election results citing alleged electoral malpractices.

C.A.R, a country with 1.8 million eligible voters, held its presidential election on December 27 and the country’s electoral commission on Monday declared incumbent President Faustin-Archange Touadera the winner of the race.

Touadera won the election with a voter turnout of over 76 per cent despite of an offensive by rebel groups seeking to derail the vote.

Ten of the 17 candidates have now rejected this result, saying the turnout of registered voters was just 37 per cent and that the insecurity disrupted campaigning and the electoral process.

“We demand an annulment pure and simple and a rerun of the election,” they said in the statement.

There was no immediate comment from the electoral commission or Touadera.

A disputed election could further destabilise the gold and diamond super power, whose population of 4.7 million has endured waves of militia violence since 2013 killing thousands and forcing more than a million from their homes.

A powerful coalition of opposition politicians has also called for the vote to be repeated, including former president, Francois Bozize.

Although the UN has over 12,800 uniformed peacekepers in the C.A.R, it has alongside Touadera, accused Bozize of being behind the rebel offensive, which briefly seized the country’s fourth-largest city ahead of the election.

Bozize has not been reachable for comment.

His party has previously denied the government’s accusations, but some memembers of the party have suggested they are working with the rebels.

Touadera came to office in 2016 after Bozize was overthrown in a rebellion three years earlier.

He struggled to restore peace in his first term while parts of the country remain beyond government control.

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