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US Urges CAR Leaders to Restore Democracy - 2003-03-25

The United States Monday urged the new leaders of the Central African Republic to put forward plans to restore democracy to the country after the March 15 coup.

The State Department is urging the Central African Republic's self-proclaimed new President Francois Bozize and the prime minister he named Sunday, Abel Goumba, to take "decisive measures" to restore security and stability in troubled country.

Spokesman Richard Boucher says the United States is also looking for steps by the new leadership for national reconciliation that would lead to a democratic government. "We call on Mr. Bozize and Mr. Goumba to put forward their plans for such a process and to identify, in particular, the steps they plan to take to stabilize the Central African Republic and to return to democratic government," says Mr. Boucher.

The United States condemned the March 15 coup and said it was reviewing the possibility of sanctions including a suspension of non-humanitarian aid, though Mr. Boucher said no decision has yet been made on such steps.