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UN asks Chad for answers over CAR rebel leader visit

06 February 2016, 13:00

United Nations - UN officials are demanding the Chadian government explain why a Central African rebel leader was able to travel freely to Chad in defiance of Security Council sanctions against him.

Nourredine Adam, the second-in-command of the ex-Seleka band of mostly Muslim rebels, was able to fly to Chad despite an assets freeze and a travel ban imposed by the UN in May 2014, the world body's sanctions committee said in a report obtained Friday by AFP.

Adam also seems able to continue to travel freely to countries like Kenya, Chad and Ethiopia said the group, which is in charge of monitoring sanctions imposed on the Central African Republic.

Adam declared he had met Dr. Cheikh Tidiane Gadio, Special Envoy of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General in the Chadian capital on December 21, 2015, according to the report.

The OIC is the world's largest inter-governmental Muslim body, representing 57 states.

The sanctions panel "intends to request Chadian authorities for further information on Adam's travels to Chad during the latter half of 2015, it said.

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However, the committee had previously requested information dating to December 2014 and April 2015 "concerning Adam's previous travel ban violations," without a response, it noted.

In contrast, following a UN request, Ethiopian Airlines in December 2015 added Adam to its list of people banned from flying the airline.

One of the poorest and most unstable countries in Africa, the Central African Republic plunged into chaos after president Francois Bozize, a Christian, was ousted in a coup in March 2013.

The mainly Muslim Seleka rebels behind the coup went on a rampage that triggered the emergence of equally dangerous anti-balaka (anti-machete) militias in mostly Christian communities.

The transition authority established after the Seleka were chased from power in a French-led military intervention in 2014 is struggling to get the country back on its feet after decades of unrest and oppression.

The Security Council has sanctioned the heads of the rival Seleka and anti-balaka militias, as well as former president Bozize.



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