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CAR lawmakers fly to Chad amid crisis summit

09 January 2014, 21:15

N'Djamena - All deputies in the Central African Republic's transitional parliament are to be flown to Chad, where African leaders are holding a special regional summit aiming to restore peace to the restive country, an official said on Thursday.

A Chadian plane taking all 135 lawmakers from the Central African capital of Bangui was expected to arrive in the Chadian capital N'Djamena late on Thursday, the official said.

African leaders in the region have gathered in Chad in a bid to stop the sectarian violence raging in the CAR and pile pressure on its embattled president.

But the talks have been suspended until the members of the CAR's National Transition Council arrive in Chad.

"The solution must come from the Central Africans themselves," Allami Ahmat, the secretary-general of the Economic Community of Central African States (Eccas) told journalists.

"Neither Eccas nor the international community have come to change the regime... It is up to those responsible [in CAR] to decide the fate of their country."

The meeting with all the CAR lawmakers is needed before there can be any change in the transitional government's institutions.

Rebel-turned-president Michel Djotodia was summoned to N'Djamena for the special summit to confront his failure to stem unprecedented sectarian attacks that are tearing apart his resource-rich, poverty-stricken nation.

Chad's President Idriss Deby, a powerful influence over events in the CAR, opened the meeting with a call for "concrete and decisive action" to halt the violence that has killed more than 1 000 people in the past month.

Deby, who chairs the 10-nation Eccas, said the regional grouping had a duty "to show solidarity and determination to pull Central Africa back from the abyss".

The African leaders' principal concern is the Bangui government's failure to stem the widespread bloodshed that has broken out between mainly Muslim former rebels and self-defence militias formed by the Christian majority.



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