C. African Republic president flees to CameroonC. African Republic president flees to Cameroon

By Christopher Torchia and Rukmini Callimachi

Associated Press

Published: Monday, March 25 2013 10:09 p.m. MDT

The Democratic Alliance, an opposition party in South Africa, said the government should explain why South African forces were deployed "in the middle of what amounted to a civil war, with so little military support."

The government of Cameroon said Bozize would be leaving for another unspecified country. There were reports of looting in Bangui amid the specter of continuing unrest.

Michel Djotodia, one of the leaders of the rebel coalition, said he considers himself to be the new head of state. Another rebel leader, Nelson N'Djadder, said he does not recognize Djotodia as president.

"We had agreed that we would push to Bangui in order to arrest Bozize and that we would then announce an 18-month transition, a transition that would be as fast as possible — and not one that would last three years," N'Djadder told The Associated Press by telephone from Paris. "I have enough soldiers loyal to me to attack Djotodia. I am planning to take the Wednesday flight to Bangui."

N'Djadder said rebels —not those under his command — had pillaged homes in Bangui, including those of French expatriates.

The U.S. State Department said it was concerned about the security situation and urged the Seleka leadership to establish order and restore electricity and water.

The rebel success in the nation of 4.5 million suggests the possible backing of neighboring nations. There has been speculation that either Chad or Sudan or Gabon had provided the rebels with arms and logistical support. Djotodia rejected that claim.

The overthrow of Bozize could affect the hunt for Joseph Kony, said the commander of African troops tracking the fugitive warlord. Bozize was a strong supporter of African efforts to dismantle Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.

Ugandan Brig. Dick Olum, speaking from his South Sudanese military base in Nzara, said Monday he is concerned by past rebel statements that all foreign troops must leave the country. Some 3,350 African troops are currently deployed against the LRA in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. The U.S. also has anti-Kony military advisers in the Central African Republic.

Central African Republic has suffered instability since obtaining independence from France in 1960, including at least three coup plots in 2012, according to a December analysis by Alex Vines of the London-based Royal Institute for International Affairs. He said the European Union had spent more than 100 million euros on peace missions there since 2004.

Callimachi contributed to this report from Dakar, Senegal. Associated Press writers Krista Larson in Dakar, Emmanuel Tumanjong in Yaounde, Cameroon and Rodney Muhumuza in Kampala, Uganda also contributed.

Rukmini Callimachi can be reached at www.twitter.com/rcallimachi

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