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CAR: Military Operations To Topple Seleka Mov't Start

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The reports come at a time of heightened religious tensions, with thousands of Christians fleeing from the vengeful Muslim Seleka fighters.

The country’s democratically-elected leader, Francois Bozize, was in March this year toppled by a joint alliance of rebel groups led by Michel Djotodia who would later install himself as the first ever Muslim President of the Christian-dominated Central African country.

The United Nations is Thursday widely expected to vote on sending thousands of African peacekeepers with France expected to bolster its military presence in the country sitting on the verge of genocide.

The Seleka Movement is accused of committing the worst atrocities against the Christians after taking over power.

Houses were burnt down and hundreds of Christians massacred in revenge killings by the Muslim combatants. Uganda has never forgiven the Seleka movement for stalling operations against LRA leader, Joseph Kony.

A few hours after the overthrow of Bozize, Ugandan army officials said the Seleka group was in bed with LRA bandits led by Joseph Kony.

It was not until the international community ratcheted up pressure on Djotodia that he switfly issued a statement, saying Kony wanted to surrender to Ugandan authorities.

Observers said then that Djotodia intended to play the LRA card to divert attention from the worsening humanitarian crisis facing the country.

It is thought Djotodia also planned to use the negotiations of the LRA ‘surrender’ to clean his battered reputation by portraying his government as a solution to the LRA plague.

This would temporarily buy him time to consolidate his hold on power and end isolation on the international community scene.

Impeccable sources knowledgeable about latest developments in CAR said plans had been finalised to topple the Seleka movement in the next few days.

Violence

The United Nations mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) on Tuesday voiced its deep concern at the latest violence by armed groups in the country, which left at least 12 people dead and 30 wounded, including children.

The incidents, in Boali, which is 95 kilometres from the capital city of Bangui, were the latest violence to befall CAR, where the security and humanitarian situations have been deteriorating rapidly in recent months.

The country witnessed a resumption of violence last December when the Séléka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks, culminating in March when President François Bozizé was forced to flee.

A transitional government, headed by Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye, has been entrusted with restoring law and order and paving the way for democratic elections.

But armed clashes in the north-east have increased since August, and the country is facing a dire humanitarian situation that affects virtually the entire population of 4.6 million.

In a statement issued in Bangui, the UN Integrated Peace-building Office in CAR, (BINUCA) voiced its concern over the “increasingly violence environment and the related risks it entails.”

The mission urged the transitional authorities to uphold their duty to protect the population.

Humanitarian crisis



It also called on the authorities to bring to justice those responsible for all acts of violence, and encouraged religious and political leaders to play a constructive role in enhancing social cohesion in the country.

BINUCA also reiterated the Security Council’s demand that Séléka elements and all other armed groups lay down their arms immediately and participate in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes.

Last week, Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson called on the international community to act immediately to halt the rapidly deteriorating situation in CAR, citing mounting human rights abuses, sexual violence and other “horrors.”

“We face a profoundly important test of international solidarity and of our responsibility to protect. We cannot look away,” Jan Eliasson told the Security Council, as he proposed that a UN peacekeeping mission eventually replace the current African-led International Support Mission in the CAR (MISCA).

“The CAR is becoming a breeding ground for extremists and armed groups in a region that is already suffering from conflict and instability,” he warned. “If this situation is left to fester, it may degenerate into a religious and ethnic conflict with longstanding consequences, a relentless civil war that could easily spill-over into neighbouring countries.”

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