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Central Africa

Food Shortage Hits Central African Republic

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Central African Republic’s main trading route, the road linking Cameroon to Bangui, is deserted after rebel forces launched a series of attacks last month. The disruption means hundreds of trucks are stuck waiting to move and translates into shortages for consumers.

Prices for basic foodstuffs like onions have tripled in the capital’s biggest food market. Air transport is costly, but remains the only solution as the disruption continues.

The government has pledged to provide army escorts for lorries starting Tuesday.

Commercial traffic on the road between Cameroon’s port city of Douala to the Central African Republic (CAR)’s capital Bangui resumed on Tuesday.

The decision came after a meeting on Monday between CAR government officials and the UN peacekeeping mission which agreed to accompany convoys transporting goods from Cameroon into the war-torn country.

“In agreement with MINUSCA [United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic], traffic will resume on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. MINUSCA will ensure the protection of each convoy with air support,” CAR’s Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada announced late Monday.

Ngrebada also said they had decided to set up a crisis unit to specifically manage this issue which has had a huge impact on the Central African economy.

“An assessment of the situation will be made three days after the resumption of traffic,” he said.

The road between Douala and Bangui was closed last month following repeated rebel attacks at a border town.

Several UN peacekeepers from Bangladesh, Burundi, and Cameroon have been killed and several others injured in separate rebel attacks in the war-torn country in recent weeks.

Some 30,000 people fled into neighboring Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Republic of Congo. The UN refugee agency said tens of thousands more have been displaced inside the country.

The situation in the CAR, a landlocked central African country, has been tense after the Constitutional Council rejected former President Francois Bozize’s candidacy for the Dec. 27, 2020 elections.

Central Africa

New MONUSCO Boss Bintou Keita Starts Work

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Bintou Keita,63 , the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, made her first trip to the interior of the country on March 9, more specifically to Goma (North Kivu), in the east of the country.

She spoke with Governor Carly Kasivita. The two discussed the precarious security situation in the region where the peacekeepers are supporting the Congolese security forces in the fight against the negative forces.

“If you listened to me when I arrived during the audience with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and then the Head of State, you understood that the priority of peace and the stabilization of eastern Congo is fundamental,” Keita said while speaking to press.

According to her, there is a political will to strengthen the positive partnership that already exists between the governorate and MONUSCO and particularly to work together on one of the priority aspects of stabilization and the fight against insecurity which concerns the DDRCS (Editor’s note: Disarmament, demobilization, Community Reintegration and Stabilization),” Bintou Keita told reporters briefly after meeting Governor Kasivita.

Governor Kasivita of North Kivu insisted on the need to strengthen the Congolese security system thanks to the contribution of the UN mission whose withdrawal plan is still on the table.

“For North Kivu, it’s security first. The United Nations are present in our country to accompany us in the search for peace and the restoration of state authority. We spoke with Keita about approaches that can consolidate state authority. We also talked about development. We also talked about what to do so that the transition from leaving MONUSCO is a process discussed together with the grassroots authorities. Strengthening the security system of our police and our army is one of the best responses to this transition, ”said the head of the provincial executive of North Kivu.

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Félix Tshisekedi also hosted Bintou Keita on March 4.

Bintou succeeds Leila Zerrougui who has completed her term as head of Monusco.

Meanwhile, Keita was Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations. She joined the United Nations in 1989. She notably served as Deputy Joint Special Representative to the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

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Central Africa

Two Congolese Soldiers Killed By Angry Mob

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A Congolese soldier has been killed by an angry mob in the DRC’s Ruwenzori sector, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu).

The DRC military FARDC confirmed that one of its soldiers was killed by the population on Tuesday in the village of Mighende.

According to the military spokesperson in the region, the victim was attached to the 313rd Battalion based in Bulongo. The slain soldier was mistaken for a Ugandan rebel ADF fighter.

The incidence took place ten kilometers east of the commune of Lume, in the Ruwenzori sector, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu).

Details indicate that the soldier was mobbed by young people who threw at him stones and sticks until he was eliminated. This soldier is the second victim of mob justice in the same village in the 24 hour interval.

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Central Africa

Former Seleka Group Leader Says François Bozizé Heads Rebel Coalition CPC

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Noureddine Adam, the Former number two of the Seleka rebel group in Central African Republic has given a hint on what to make of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), whose troops attacked Bangui Capital on January 13.

Noureddine Adam was known as a member of the Emir of Abu Dhabi’s security service, boss of a security company in the United Arab Emirates, leader of the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace or number two of the Séléka and at the head of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC).

Now there is a new Noureddine Adam, son of an Imam and a trained policeman, at the heart of the new Central African rebel organization: the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

It was partly on his orders that the CPC troops launched a series of attacks on Bangui on January 13, in order to further increase the pressure on President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, whose re-election on the 27th last December is contested.

Did the CPC really aim to conquer the capital? What are his relations with François Bozizé? Does it have the means to hold out against Minusca, the Russians and the Rwandans? And, if so, what would it do with power?

Noureddine Adam, who lives in hiding between Sudan and its strongholds of Birao and Ndele, in the north of the Central African Republic, was interviewed by Jeune Afrique.

What is the current objective of the Coalition of Patriots for Change, which attacked Bangui on January 13?

Noureddine Adam: The objectives of the CPC remain those which were clearly stated in the Kamba-Kota declaration of December 15, 2020: restore security throughout the territory, restore the sovereignty of the State within the borders and on all of its natural and economic resources, guarantee each citizen the freedom to come and go without hindrance, to engage in his economic activities … In a word: develop the country and lift the Central African out of poverty and precariousness.

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