Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


CAR president: New government inclusive

07 May 2014, 07:46

Bangui - Central African Republic's interim president pledged on Tuesday to overhaul her government and make it more representative, addressing mounting criticism of its failure to stem religious violence that has displaced nearly 1 million people.

In a speech to mark her first 100 days in office, Catherine Samba-Panza acknowledged there was widespread anger at her government's lack of progress and accepted that her decision to appoint a majority of ministers from her own eastern region had stirred resentment in the former French colony.

Members of the powerful 'anti-balaka' Christian militia, which took up arms last year after Muslim Seleka rebels briefly seized power, say their movement is not represented in the transitional government and have refused to co-operate with it.

"The government will be reshuffled to be more inclusive and representative," Samba-Panza said in a speech to the National Transitional Council. "Voices are being raised to demand the urgent organisation of an inclusive political dialogue."

With international frustration also rising at her government's record, Samba-Panza said many of criticisms were "legitimate" but added that three months were not enough to respond to the scale of the challenge.

The landlocked country of 4.6 million people was plunged into chaos in March last year when the Seleka coalition swept southward to seize the riverside capital Bangui. This unleashed a wave of killings, rapes and looting against the majority Christian population during Seleka's 10 months in power.

Since Seleka leader Michel Djotodia resigned under international pressure in January, the 'anti-balaka' have preyed on Muslims in Bangui and the country's southwest, despite the presence of some 6 000 African Union peacekeepers and 2 000 French troops.

Thousands have been killed and nearly 1 million people displaced by violence which has split the country along ethnic and religious lines, with the Seleka rebels controlling the northeast, where they are also accused of abuses.

More peacekeepers

"The proliferation of arms has created fears of mounting insecurity and criminality," Samba-Panza said. "There is rising anger and hatred in the hearts of the vast majority of the population."

The passivity of the armed forces and police in the face of the violence has sparked popular frustration. Concerns about anti-balaka infiltration of the army were highlighted when a group of soldiers lynched a Muslim outside a ceremony presided by Samba-Panza in early February.

Even in the capital, around 180 000 people remain displaced, scattered among camps and host families. The United Nations estimates that 2.5 million people - or more than half the population - are in need of medical and food assistance.

Critics have said that, with the remote country lacking in strategic importance or major resources, Western nations have been slow to react to the crisis.

The United Nations says that donors have provided just over a quarter of the $550m requested in an emergency humanitarian appeal. A long-requested 12 000-strong UN peacekeeping force is not due to deploy before September.

In a sign of the scale of the security challenge, French peacekeepers killed several militants during a three-hour battle on Monday after coming under fire from some 40 heavily armed unidentified gunmen in the northwest of Central Afrcan Republic, an army official said.

- Reuters

Tags un

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...