Armed ViolenceElection SecurityNews

Central Africa: Panic As Rebel Leader Orders Election Officials To Quit Town

There was a lot of panic when Retour, Réclamation et Réhabilitation – Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation (3R) rebel leader, self-proclaimed General Abass Sidiki Sunday on August 16 ordered agents registering electors in the sub prefecture of Koui, formerly De Gaulle, to vacate the locality within thirty minutes.

“Immediately word of the rebel leader’s order arrived in the sub prefecture, electoral censors with tablets in their armpits were seen running in different directions with most hardly knowing exactly where they were heading to,” an eye-witness told HumAngle in Bouar.

Official sources revealed that it was around 2 p.m. in the afternoon that the rebel leader’s information ordering the immediate cessation of activities by the electoral enumerators reached the locality, plunging the entire neighbourhood into confusion.

The confusion continued until about 3 p.m. when a vehicle dispatched by the National Elections Authority arrived the Koui Council offices to hurriedly evacuate all the electoral agent. 

Some of them had run and hidden in nearby houses to Bocaranga in the Ouham-Pende prefecture to await their eventual transportation to Bangui.

The registration of electors started in Koui, considered as the fief of 3R and its leader Abass Sidiki, last Wednesday August 14, 2020.

It should be recalled that the United States Treasury Department, following on the heels of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) Friday August 7, 2020 imposed sanctions against rebel leader Bi Sidi Souleymane alias Abass Sidiki.

The sanctions against the self-proclaimed General and Coordinator of the 3R (Retour, Réclamation et Réhabilitation) movement followed accusations of killings, torture, rape and other crimes committed by the movement against Central African civilians which have since 2015 led to the displacement of thousands of people from their areas of residence.

Abass Sidiki is accused of having personally participated in the said crimes.

The sanctions involve the prohibition of the said Abass Sidiki from entering the United States of America and the seizure of all the assets and bank accounts that he may have in America.

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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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