UN eyes sanctions against former CAR leader

2014-11-26 13:16

New York - A UN panel is calling for targeted sanctions against former Central African Republic president Michel Djotodia, accused of trying to derail the political transition in Bangui, diplomats said on Tuesday.

Djotodia rose to power in March 2013 after his Seleka rebel movement overthrew long-time leader Francois Bozize, but he stepped down in January amid chaos in his country.

A panel of experts have listed Djotodia, who lives in exile in Cotonou, among about 15 names of individuals who should be punished for hampering peace efforts in the Central African Republic.

A UN sanctions committee is due to review the list that also includes military chiefs in the coming weeks and submit names to the Security Council which would then decide on the measures.

But diplomats said it was unclear whether the council would move quickly on sanctions or opt instead for piling on pressure on Djotodia to encourage cooperation from his rebel movement at talks in January.

The targeted sanctions would include a visa ban and an assets freeze.

The Central African Republic is struggling to recover from the coup that ousted Bozize and pushed the poor and unstable country into violence pitting the country's Christian and Muslim populations against one another.