Central African Republic collects guns

2013-09-04 22:29
Moussa, aged 17, having served 4 years in various armed groups before joining the Seleka rebels, sits in the Italian NGO Coopi reception centre for child soldiers in Bangui. (Xavier Bourgois, AFP)

Moussa, aged 17, having served 4 years in various armed groups before joining the Seleka rebels, sits in the Italian NGO Coopi reception centre for child soldiers in Bangui. (Xavier Bourgois, AFP)

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Bangui - The security minister for Central African Republic plans to collect unauthorised weapons as part of a crackdown on violence and petty crime in the chronically unstable nation.

Jose Binoua launched the disarmament operation on Wednesday in the presence of President Michel Djotodia, whose Seleka rebel coalition overthrew ex-President Francois Bozize in March. Djotodia has been criticised for failing to rein in his fighters, who have been accused of killing and raping civilians.

Binoua said the operation would target civilians as well as Seleka fighters bearing weapons outside six authorised security installations.

He said anyone caught violating weapons regulations would be severely punished.

A regional peacekeeping force launched a separate disarmament programme in July. But the force has a limited presence outside the capital, Bangui, and the program had little effect.

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