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Central African R..- The opposition condemns the rebel offensive against the capital and calls for a “real dialogue” with the president

The NRC warns of the impact of growing insecurity on the humanitarian situation

MADRID, 15 (EUROPA PRESS)

The opposition coalition of the Central African Republic (COD-2020) has condemned this Friday the offensive launched on Wednesday by several rebel groups against the country’s capital, Bangui, repelled by the security forces with the support of the United Nations One-dimensional Integrated Mission to Stabilization in RCA (MINUSCA).

A spokesman for the COD-2020, which groups together a dozen parties, has indicated in statements to the radio station Radio France Internationale that the coalition is framed by legality and respect for the Constitution and the country’s institutions, thus rejecting the attempt navy.

Likewise, former Prime Minister Anicet Georges Dologuélé, member of COP-2020, has asked the Central African President, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, to open “a real and inclusive dialogue” to “guarantee a lasting peace” and “national cohesion” .

Central African civil society spokesman Paul Crescent Beninga has also criticized the offensive of the Patriots Coalition for Change (CPC), made up of six of the armed groups that signed the 2019 peace agreement – and has said that “the existing regime is a democratic regime.”

For his part, the spokesman for the United Nations General Secretariat, Stéphane Dujarric, has indicated that MINUSCA “has carried out additional operations in the vicinity of Bangui, in coordination with the security forces.”

Dujarric stressed that they have resulted in the seizure of arms and ammunition and added that the situation “is calm, but unpredictable” both in Bangui and its surroundings as a result of the offensive, which resulted in the death of a ‘blue helmet’ and 30 rebels, according to information provided by the Government.

MINUSCA forces commander Daniel Sidiki Traoré paid a visit to the outskirts of Bangui on Thursday and applauded the population for their support. “You are brave people. Your country can trust you. Keep helping us and giving us certain information, which will allow us to neutralize these assailants,” he said.

“This interaction with the population is necessary because they must know why we are here, the reason for the mission and that we will go hand in hand towards peace and security,” he said, according to a statement published by the mission itself through its page Web.

IMPACT ON HUMANITARIAN AID

In this context, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has indicated that humanitarian operations in various areas of the country have been suspended due to incidents unleashed in the framework of the electoral crisis, which has left part of the population without access to help.

“Like most other humanitarian organizations, we had to suspend our response in most of the country, including the towns of Nana Gribizi, Basse-Kotto and Mabere Kadei, where more than 120,000 displaced people depend on humanitarian aid to survive,” said David Manan, director of the NGO at RCA.

“We are deeply concerned about the consequences for civilians who need help, but it is too dangerous for us to continue operations at this time,” he said. Attacks on humanitarian workers have forced many NGOs to close their offices and relocate their staff to Bangui.

In this regard, since December 15 there have been 41 incidents against humanitarian personnel, including the murder of an NGO worker, in a spike in insecurity that puts civilians and humanitarian workers in great danger.

“Limiting our access to the country is like cutting the lifeline to more than half of the population that depends on humanitarian support to survive. Dialogue and interaction between civilians and all military actors in CAR is necessary to avoid incidents about the terrain and preserve the humanitarian space, “argued Manan.

According to NRC data, about 62,000 people have been displaced within the country and around 30,000 have fled to neighboring states due to insecurity unleashed by the elections. Previously, there were more than 600,000 internally displaced persons and 600,000 refugees in neighboring countries.

THE CRISIS IN RCA

The country is immersed in the offensive of a new rebellion, the CPC – made up of several rebel groups that signed the 2019 peace agreement – which saw the light before the elections and of which the Government accuses former President François Bozizé to be behind. In fact, the Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation against Bozizé last week for what it has described as “a developing rebellion” against the State.

Thus, he accuses the former president, who the Constitutional Court prevented from attending the presidential elections, of supporting “the rebellion created under the name of the CPC”, despite the fact that the former president has repeatedly denied his connection with the rebels.

Tensions increased after the removal of Bozizé’s candidacy and after the opposition’s requests to the president to postpone the elections for legal reasons and the CDC offensive, which caused a deterioration in security and that part of the population could not go to vote.

Touadéra was declared the winner with 53.9 percent of the votes, while former Prime Minister Anicet Georges Dologuélé collected 21.01 percent and Martin Ziguélé came in third with 7.33 percent. The opposition has denounced massive fraud and ten of its candidates, including Dologuélé and Ziguélé, have asked that the elections be annulled.


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Ben Oakley
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