Militia truce offers glimmer of hope for CAR

2014-01-12 15:56
Michel Djotodia. (File AFP)

Michel Djotodia. (File AFP)

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

kalahari.com

Bangui - Rival militiamen struck a truce on Sunday and hugged each other in a neighbourhood of the Central African Republic's capital on the eve of consultations aimed at replacing the president who resigned under international pressure.

The event reported by witnesses and CAR's chief of staff offered a glimmer of hope that weeks of deadly sectarian violence would end following the resignation on Friday of Michel Djotodia, the mainly Christian country's first Muslim president who left to Benin on Saturday.

It followed deadly weekend violence including reports of cannibalism and widespread looting in the capital Bangui. The situation in Bangui was calmer overnight on Saturday but looting was still occurring on Sunday.

CAR chief of staff General Ferdinand Bomboyeke confirmed witness accounts of the laying down of arms which he said occurred after a "deal obtained" by the rivals fighting for days in a southern part of Bangui called Bimbo.

The fighting had involved men belonging to the mainly Muslim ex-Seleka rebels who brought Djotodia to power in March and Christian anti-Balaka militiamen.

It was the first scene of this kind in Bangui following weeks of bloody sectarian violence.

The truce occurred after members of the French force in Bangui came to carry out a mediation effort, Roger Kombo, a CAR official said.

The fighters "hugged each other. They asked for forgiveness as people cheered", Kombo told AFP.

The fighters from both sides then went together to the neighbourhood market and re-opened the checkpoint, allowing people in the area to travel about freely again, he said.

The neighbourhood Seleka commander, Captain Souleimane Daouda, told AFP that "we reached a ceasefire" with the anti-Balaka militiamen in the area.

"There were negotiations all night. Early this morning we met. We told each other that we had no reason to fight since Djotodia is gone. We await instructions from the future authorities."

'Free, democratic and transparent elections'

The National Transition Council, or provisional parliament, said it will on Monday begin its consultations with politicians and civil society members in a bid to elect Djotodia's successor.

The council's speaker, Alexandre-Ferdinand Nguendet, is tasked with convening a special session of the parliament to elect a new temporary president.

The council's deputy speaker Lea Koyassoum Doumta sketched out the criteria the new president must meet.

"He must be someone who can unite Central Africans, restore security, ease tensions, put everybody back to work, and pave the way for free, democratic and transparent elections," she told AFP.

Doumta said he must also "reassure" the ex-Seleka rebels as well as the anti-Balaka groups formed to defend against and avenge the excesses committed by the former rebels.

The new president will inherit a country in turmoil with a climate of sectarian hatred, nearly a million people displaced in a country of 4.6 million, an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, a paralysed government administration and an economy in chaos.

He will have little time to work magic even if he benefits from the political, military and financial support of the international community; the timetable for the transition calls for general elections to be held no later than the first half of 2015.

But France, the former colonial power which is spearheading international efforts to end the crisis here, wants elections to be held as early as the end of 2014.

Under the constitution that came into force when Djotodia came to power, the transitional president is excluded from running in the elections.

Despite the positive developments, there was still looting on Sunday.

Near the 20 000-capacity stadium in the centre of the capital, a gang of young men armed with machetes and clubs attacked a store, prompting the robust intervention of Congolese troops serving in the African peacekeeping force Misca, an AFP correspondent said.

The Congolese troops chased the looters and arrested four of them unceremoniously.

Similar incidents of looting, involving gangs wandering throughout the city in search of homes or stores to rob, were reported in other neighbourhoods of Bangui.

Ten months of violence have displaced a fifth of the country's population, and the sectarian flare-up has killed more than 1 000 people in the past month alone, despite France's military intervention and the presence of the African peacekeeping force.

France has deployed 1 600 troops in the country to support Misca, which is meant to have up to 6 000 troops, but has not yet reached 3 500.

Read more on:    misca  |  michel djotodia  |  france  |  central african republic  |  central africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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

 
 

SA political parties go to church

Leaders of different political parties have attended a church service at the Tyrannus Apostolic Church in De Deur.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop 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

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...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.