Post-coup Central African Republic creates transition council

2013-04-06 16:59

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Accra – The rebel leader who overthrew the government of the Central African Republic (CAR) two weeks ago has established a transitional council to elect a new head of state.

The council comprises 97 members and will also serve as an interim Parliament and draft a new Constitution, French radio RFI reported today.

It follows a coup that saw former rebel Michel Djotodia annul the Constitution and proclaim himself president after the Seleka rebel alliance he led ousted President Francois Bozize.

Earlier this week, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) suggested the establishment of such a council, but said it would not accept Djotodia as president.

The African Union, South Africa and the CAR’s former ally, Chad, have refused to recognise the unconstitutional change of power.

South African President Jacob Zuma, at the Economic Community of Central African States summit said his country would withdraw its forces in the CAR, ending a two-year bilateral agreement.

At least 13 South African soldiers were killed in fighting with the Seleka rebels when they took control of the capital Bangui last month. Bozize fled to Cameroon, then sought asylum in Benin.

The rebels accused Bozize of breaching a 2007 peace deal and launched an offensive in December. The landlocked country of 4.5 million people has been plagued by instability since its independence from France in 1960.

According to Bangui-based Radio Ndeke Luka, elements of Seleka have continued to terrorise civilians in the city, banks remained closed and many businesses had been looted.

Since Seleka launched their attacks on villages last December, 37 000 people have fled mainly to Chad, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the UN said.

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