The Central African Republic (CAR) will go to the polls on Sunday for presidential and parliamentary elections.
Despite the threat of violence on Saturday, the Constitutional Court refused to postpone opposition elections.
Earlier, an unidentified “armed attacker” killed three UN peacekeepers hours after a rebel coalition fighting the government called for an end to the election.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has warned in recent days that armed violence poses a serious threat to civilians and their right to vote.
The OHCHR said on Wednesday that the new rebel alliance had clashed with security forces across the country, including Bangui, near the capital.
On Sunday, President Faustin-Archange Touadera is seeking a second five-year term in office.
Earlier this month, a court rejected former President Francois Bozize’s candidacy for president. He was involved in assassinations and assassinations during his presidency. He denied that he had met the requirements of “good ethics” because of arrests for torture and other crimes and arrests and UN sanctions.
Diamonds သစ်၊ The gold-rich CAR has experienced five coups and several uprisings since France gained independence in 1960. Bozize has been insecure since its ouster in 2013.
President Touadera’s Russia International security partners, including France and Rwanda, have responded by sending troops and equipment.
People in the CAR told Al Jazeera about the current situation in the country and their views on the election.
Alexander Cyril Ngozo, 30
Alexander Cyril Ngozo is an election observer in Bangui.
Despite pressure from armed groups, We are facing a crisis, but we want the government to hold elections. I think problems can arise when former President Francois Bozize registers his candidate without meeting all the requirements.
“I am especially concerned for my fellow citizens in the countryside. They are not involved in politics. They are not interested in what is happening. They are facing this terrible situation again. ”
Rusquin Ganzo, 28
Rusquin Ganzo has his ballot paper and is ready to vote, but is still worried.
“Because almost all areas are occupied by rebels,” he said. I was confused by the security situation. Although we are a democracy, we have always been involved in different political and military conflicts.
“Right now we feel a little bit peaceful in Bangui,” he said. In some areas, however, insurgents attacked again before the election. For now, the humanitarian crisis will continue. With recent events, it is very confusing for my citizens who have taken refuge in the jungle. “
Yvonne Vola, 80
Yvonne Vola is the mother of nine children and three grandchildren. He sells street peanuts and cassava in Bangui.
The capital was shaken by rumors that a rebel coalition was heading for Bangui.
“Even though I was old, I had to run away that morning. I do not think this is true. But the people shouted and made everyone run. Seleka warned me when I was scared [rebel armed groups alliance] I have arrived
“I have the right to vote. This is my country. I will vote to find lasting peace. I want to sell my things for peace. I worked hard with my nine children. Without peace it does not work, but we will starve.
Gypsiane Dhot, 26
Gypsiane Dhot is a trained accountant. But while waiting to find a job in her field, she works as an election card distributor.
“It was a very sad day for us,” he said. People come in the morning to collect cards. But rumors, rumors, rumors. No one came in the afternoon out of fear, ”he said, citing rumors that insurgents had arrived.
“I want to come on Sunday as soon as possible and do my part. We want to vote for the new president. So he will bring peace to the country. Now there is no peace in the states. Rebellion has killed many people. And I don’t know if they are safe. ”
Innocent Sanzima, 33
Innocent Sanzima (right) is located along the road outside Bangui.
“We have the right to vote on Sunday,” he said. I will go to the office a kilometer from here [to vote] Because we are looking for a president who can manage this country well. We have uncertainties; UN forces are frequent, but armed groups are likely to arrive.
“There are a lot of people right now,” he said [talking shelter] And in the bushes. People are coming to our streets to see what is happening with their luggage. We were always victims on this road and it was not easy to remember when Seleka arrived. My brother was shot.
Reporting by Adrienne Surprenant in Bangui