Friday, January 10, 2014

CAR: " To write the rites to right my wrongs "

Radio France International reports

CAR president Djotodia and PM Tiangaye resign

The Central African Republic's interim president, Michel Djotodia, has resigned along with prime minister Nicolas Tiangaye. The announcement came at the end of a summit of regional leaders in neighbouring Chad.

                            President Djotodia and PM Tiangaye

After a meeting with the CAR's entire provisional parliament until 4.00am, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) announced the resignations at the end of its meeting on Friday.

The summit on Thursday suspended its debate on the crisis-hit country in order to fly all 135 members of the National Transitional Council from Bangui to N'Djamena.

With Chadian President Idriss Déby, the current ECCAS head, leading the charge, they told them that the two, whose mutual relationship is notoriously bad, had to go.

There is no doubt they had to go but the problem is who will replace them ? 

The CAR's "own sons" had plunged the pay into a "war that dangerously compromises its future", Déby told the summit, putting the blame on "the political class in its entirety".

That ignores of course that many of the Seleka combatants are his countrymen, Human Rights Watch reports.  

Djotodia on September 13 officially disbanded the Seleka, some of whose members are believed to be Chadian and Sudanese. Former Seleka rebels have nominally integrated into a new “national army,” but command and control remain questionable. The group, now referred to as ex-Seleka, continues to commit abuses in the Central African Republic."

In Bangui thousands of people demonstrated near the airport on Friday to oppose Djotodia's return.

The reaction in Bangui is incredible with singing and dancing in the airport refugee camp and on the streets, watching it on Al Jazeera who have a report here. 

" As news from the summit reached Bangui, thousands of residents took to the streets, dancing, singing and honking horns in celebration.

Cheers erupted at a camp for 100,000 displaced Christian civilians at the city's French-controlled airport.

There were no signs of the pro-Djotodia fighters who once dominated Bangui, Reuters news agency reported."

After weeks of sectarian violence, Bangui has been relatively calm this week, however.

Again from Al Jazeera.

" Al Jazeera's Barnaby Phillips, reporting from Bangui on Friday, said the gunfire broke out shortly after the resignation announcement.

"It is not possible to work out who is firing at who at this stage," he said.

"The international community is going to have to react very quickly as there is no one regionally who can unite CAR."

It isn't being reported as yet by all media but the Al Jazeera  TV coverage showed Muslim civilians being evacuated on trucks to the applause of watching Christians. It would have been nice to know who was driving the trucks.

"The situation is improving - slowly, but it is improving," the commander of the French troops in the CAR, General Francisco Soriano, said on Thursday.

It is improving insomuch as we have taken a step forward, the two steps backwards have yet to come. Unless the international community can get its shit together very fast then those backwards steps are days if not hours away.

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