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Central African Republic new president dissolves rebel alliance

14th Sep 2013

The Central African Republic rebel alliance which brought the country’s new president to power, has been disbanded by decree. The move follows looting and killings by the Seleka rebels.

Former Seleka leader Michel Djotodia, installed by the alliance as the country’s new president, has tried to distance himself from the fighters as evidence has mounted of abuses by the Seleka groups. Seleka rebels seized the capital Bangui and overthrew leader Francois Bozize in March.

A government statement broadcast on state radio on Friday afternoon said: “The Seleka Coalition is dissolved over the length and breadth of the Central African Republic’s territory. Only the Central African security force is in charge of protecting our territorial integrity. Any individual or group of individuals who act in the name of Seleka … after the publication of the present decree … will expose themselves to the full sanctions under the law.”

It was unclear what impact the order would have on Seleka, a loose alliance made up of five organisations.

The order came the same week that Djotodia dismissed the head of the armed forces after days of clashes with other fighters still loyal to Bozize. A hundred people were reported killed.

French President Francois Hollande last month called for urgent UN action to stop the country slipping further into chaos.

UN report

In a report issued on Thursday, the United Nations said that rebels, and troops who had fought alongside deposed Bozize, had carried out summary executions, torture and other human rights violations leading up to the March coup.

The UN mission to the country said in the report that “Seleka also engaged in sexual violence and grave violations against children.” The UN recommended that the new transitional government take urgent measures to restore security and screen both rebel fighters and soldiers of the national army.

The Central African Republic remains among the world’s poorest and politically unstable nations, despite its resources including mines rich with diamonds.

jm/lw (AFP, AP)

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