CAR leader sees political conspiracy in attacks

2014-06-02 09:07
Central African Republic President Catherine Samba-Panza visits the victims of the latest wave of violence at the General Hospital in Bangui. (Marco Longari, AFP)

Central African Republic President Catherine Samba-Panza visits the victims of the latest wave of violence at the General Hospital in Bangui. (Marco Longari, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Bangui - A recent surge in violence in the Central African capital of Bangui was caused by "agitators" trying to "manipulate the youth for purely political reasons", President Catherine Samba Panza said on Sunday.

The leader made the comments after a visit to a local hospital where victims were recovering from a deadly attack on a church earlier in the week that sparked mass protests.

A total of 17 people were killed in the attack on Notre-Dame de Fatima church, which the president has previously described as a "terrorist act".

Samba Panza said recent improvements in the security situation "do not please everybody".

"They are agitators who underhandedly try to manipulate, to use the youth for purely political reasons," she said.

She said "investigations are underway. As soon as we have proven facts, I will be able to speak in a more precise manner."

Her comments mirrored those of her prime minister, Andre Nzapayeke, who said on Thursday that recent attacks were part of "a planned conspiracy" by "politicians very close to power", including people close to his own cabinet and the presidential office.

In a bid to reconcile opposing groups, leading members of the mostly Muslim Seleka rebel group and their mostly Christian opponents in the "anti-balaka" militia were given positions in the new cabinets that were formed when Samba Panza's interim government came to power in January.

Relentless tit-for-tat attacks

Tensions have been high in Bangui in recent days. Three people were killed and several injured on Friday when security forces fired on thousands of protesters calling for the departure of international peacekeepers accused of failing to prevent the church attack.

The protesters also called for militants in the last Muslim enclave in the city, PK-5, to be disarmed.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have already fled the capital after brutal attacks by the anti-balaka. Around 200 to 300 Muslims in PK-5 held a rally on Saturday, saying they would be immediately killed if they gave up their weapons.

"The will to disarm is certain," said Samba Panza. But "we cannot disarm them in the midst of this disorder" and leave the Muslims "at the mercy of those who want to come and attack them".

She said she had held talks with leaders in PK-5, and said the disarmament would be carried out by French forces. "We will disarm them gradually while ensuring the protection of the population," she said, without specifying a timetable.

Calm had been restored to Bangui by Sunday. The many barricades that had sprung up in recent days were gone.

The deeply impoverished, majority Christian country has been wracked by relentless tit-for-tat attacks between Christian vigilante groups and the ex-Seleka rebels who seized control in a coup last year but were forced from power in January.

There are 425,000 internally displaced people across the country, and a further 121,000 refugees in neighbouring countries.
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/World
 

LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents

Sometimes honesty is not the best policy!

 
 

For chic geeks...

This lock means keys are something of the past!
DuckTales theme song gets 'quacked-up'
7 things you didn't know about Apple
Facebook testing self-destruction posts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off new fiction books!

Save 30% on new captivating books from great authors such as Wilbur Smith, James Pettereson and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to be too up in the air with your idealistic ideas. Find an anchor to help bring them into a more realistic...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.