CAR declares 15-day state of emergency

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The Central African Republic has declared a 15-day state of emergency throughout the country as a coalition of armed groups seeks to overthrow re-elected President Faustin Archange Touadéra, the spokesperson for the presidency announced on Thursday.

Albert Yaloké Mokpeme said the state of emergency begins midnight January 21 until February 4.

The measure comes as an alliance of six armed groups carried out sporadic attacks in towns far from the capital and on the RN3 highway, the crucial supply line linking Bangui with neighbouring Cameroon.

President Archange Touadera was re-elected in a contentious vote in December 27, 2020 and was repelled by the opposition and several armed groups.

Militias claiming to represent ethnic or other groups control two-thirds of CAR’s territory, raising queries about government’s control of the vast mineral rich central African country.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy to the Central African Republic Mankeur Ndiaye, on Thursday called on the Security Council for a “substantial increase” in the number of peacekeepers deployed to the country after recent deadly attacks by armed groups.

The increase must be accompanied by “greater mobility” in a very large country, he added.

Mr. Ndiaye did not specify the number of additional peacekeepers desired for the Minusca mission, which already has nearly 12,000 troops and represents one of the largest and most expensive UN operations in the world.

At least 100,000 people have fled their homes as a rebel coalition calling for the resignation of the president launches attacks.

Though most of attacks have been foiled by a combined operation of UN peacekeepers and government soldiers, there have however been a few blue helmet casualties.

 

Olajumoke Adeleke

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