Armed ViolenceElection SecurityNews

CAR Rebels Burn Election Materials, As Bullets Force Voters to Stay At Home

Legislative and presidential elections in the Central African Republic were supposed to have taken place on Sunday, December 27, 2020.

However, outside the national capital Bangui, not much voting took place as rebels of the Coalition of Patriots of Central Africa (CPC) destroyed voting materials in Koui, Aba and Niem-Yelewa, making it impossible for the voting to take place. 

And in Bambari, Ippy, Bria and Bouar, heavy gunshots and automatic arms detonations forced voters to stay at home.

As early as 5 am Sunday morning in Bambari, the provincial capital of Ouaka and Bria, chief town of the Upper Kotto prefecture as well as Kaga-Bandoro, chief town of the Nana-Gribizi prefecture, heavily armed rebels indiscriminately kept up with frightening gunfire which continued until seven o’clock forcing polling stations to remain closed throughout the day.

The only localities where voting was done with little or no interruptions were the capital Bangui and Berberati. 

Voters in these two towns could be seen lining up to vote as early as 6 am.

There were some quacks however in some quarters of the two towns as in the case of Galabadja 3 towards the Sans Cas football field where there were supposed to be polling booths but no polling officers to supervise the casting of votes.

“By 9 o’clock, most of the voters who had arrived at the locality to cast their votes started going back home as the polling stations there remained closed,” one eyewitness told HumAngle.

Meanwhile, the United States Ambassador to the Central African Republic has vigorously condemned the killing of three Burundian soldiers of the MINUSCA contingent in the country.

The three soldiers were killed in Dekoa within the Kemo prefecture on Christmas day.

 Two other Burundian soldiers were seriously wounded in the same attack.

“We deplore the recent increase in violence in the Central African Republic which has cost the lives of innocent persons, displaced thousands of civilians and threatened vital humanitarian action which must continue,”the U.S. Embassy statement declared in part.

“We call on all parties to stop the hostilities and to guarantee that the Central African people can exercise their right to participate in peaceful elections on December 27.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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