The newly re-elected president of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archange Touadera, has accused the former head of state, Francois Bozize, of masterminding the rebellion now tearing the country apart, procuring the finances and setting the country on fire.
On December 17, 2020, six of the most powerful armed groups which have been occupying two-thirds of the Central African Republic territory for the past eight years united under the auspices of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) and on December 19, eight days before the December 27, 2020, legislative and presidential elections and launched an offensive with a view to preventing the re-election of President Touadera.
Since then, the CPC rebels have sworn to march on Bangui the capital and have continued to launch sporadic and most times very violent attacks on government and MINUSCA forces.
But in spite of this, the re-elected Central African Republic leader has called for reconciliation.
“I extend a patriotic hand to the democratic opposition in order to pull our country out of the vicious cycle of violence and destruction, ” President Touadera said on Tuesday.
The call for peace and reconciliation by the Central African leader comes as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) announced the killing of two of its soldiers on Monday by the rebels.
“One Gabonese and one Moroccan were killed on Monday, 17 kilometres from Bangassou in the south of the Central African Republic following the ambush of their convoy by elements of the coalition of armed groups,” Mankeur Ndiaye, the UN Special Representative in the Central African Republic, announced.
According to the UN official, this incident brings to seven, the number of soldiers at the service of peace killed since the beginning of simultaneous coordinated attacks by allies of the former president Francois Bozize.
Ndiaye maintained that the UN mission, however, remains resolute in its determination not to withdraw from its task.
“The MINUSCA mission remains engaged to pursue its mandate of protection of the civil populations and the security of elections,” Ndiaye declared.
Twelve thousand MINUSCA soldiers have been deployed in the Central African Republic since 2014 to maintain peace in the country. They are supported by hundreds of Rwandan soldiers and Russian paramilitary forces dispatched to the country in December 2020.
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