CAR rebels march on Bangui to call for a ceasefire and increase polling stations

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The rebels have called for a three-day ceasefire, which was rejected by the government ahead of Sunday’s tense general election.

In the Central African Republic (CAR), a coalition fighting the government has called off a three-day ceasefire ahead of Sunday’s tense general election.

The Coalition for Change and Coalition (CPC), which launched an offensive against the government last week, said in a statement that it had decided to resume its 72-hour ceasefire and resume protests. ”

The CPC said in a statement that it had been approved by two of the six coalitions, calling the decision “irresponsible on the part of the government.”

Ceasefire signatories “invited the authorities to study the ceasefire within the same period” and called on President Faustin Archange Touadera to suspend Sunday’s presidential and legislative elections.

But government spokesman Ange-Maxime Kazagui dismissed the ceasefire on Thursday as “not an incident” and said “these people have not stopped what they are doing.”

On Sunday, the government accused Touadera’s former Francois Bozize of inciting a coup with the rebels.

The rebel coalition said on Friday that the government “strongly rejects this” opportunity for peace “.

“There have been a number of attacks in areas occupied by the CPC patriots,” it said in a statement.

The CPC statement was confirmed by two armed groups, the 3R and the Popular Front for the Rebirth of Central Africa (FPRC).

“Has the government abandoned us now or will we march on Bangui, our ultimate goal,” General Bo Bo, the leader of 3R, told AFP.

The CPC was created by armed groups accused of allegedly trying to get votes by Touadera, a front-runner in Sunday’s December 19 election. Its components are extracted from insurgent groups that jointly control two-thirds of the country.

MINUSCA patrols Bangui in a December 22 photo [File: Alexis Huguet/AFP]

Meanwhile, fighting resumed in Bakouma, 250 km (250 km) east of Bangui, said Vladimir Monteiro, a spokesman for the UNUSCA peacekeeping force.

According to MINUSCA, the gunmen tried to get off the main road leading to Bangui but did not stop.

Catherine Soi of Al Jazeera reports from Bangui: “People do not want any conflict and want to exercise their right to vote.”

“Outside Bangui, When we go to the countryside, people are very scared. Fighting is heard in many places. People are fleeing, ”he added.

The oil-rich CAR has been embroiled in years of conflict, and in 2013 Bozize clashed between the Muslim rebel coalition government and the Christian militia.

French military intervention temporarily stabilized the country with a peace agreement signed in 2019 with the UN peace mission.

Recent violence has prompted Russia and Rwanda to send military advisers and troops into the country.

Paul Melly, an African programmer at Chatham House, said it would be “very difficult” for the government to expect Sunday’s election to end.

“The United Nations, MINUSCA and the government have made great efforts to mobilize the electoral process.

Distribution of voter cards; We are doing distribution. Many people in Bangui want to put the right to vote first.



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