News / Africa

    CAR President Says He Will Not Step Down

    Central African Republic President Francois Bozize speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Bangui January 8, 2013.
    Central African Republic President Francois Bozize speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Bangui January 8, 2013.
    Anne Look
    Central African Republic President Francois Bozize maintains that he will not be forced out of office by rebels who are threatening the capital and are demanding the president step down.  He spoke to reporters in Bangui on the eve of peace talks with the rebels set to open in Gabon on Wednesday. 
     
    There looks to be little room for give and take between the Seleka rebel coalition and the government of the Central African Republic as they head into talks Wednesday in Libreville. 
     
    President Francois Bozize reaffirmed late Tuesday that he will not consider stepping down as rebels are demanding. 
     
    He says he was elected in 2005, and again in 2011. He says he has already made very large concessions ahead of talks - referring to his offer to negotiate a coalition government and his affirmation that he will not run for a third term in 2016.  What more could they ask, he says.  He says the constitution is "untouchable" for the true citizens of this country.  
     
    Change, he said, "comes through the ballot box not by violence or by guns."
     
    Rebels in the north have repeatedly risen up against Mr. Bozize since that 2005 election, two years after he had seized power in a military coup d'etat.  Some are disgruntled ex-supporters of Mr. Bozize; others backed the president he ousted, Ange Felix Patasse. 
     
    The rebel coalition, known as Seleka, has seized one-third of the country and is now within 85 kilometers of the capital, Bangui.  Government troops have been sorely outmatched.  A multinational African force now stands between the rebels and the capital. 
     
    Seleka draws fighters from three main rebel groups in the north who say the government failed to fully implement peace accords signed in 2007 and 2008. 
     
    Bozize said the government goes to Libreville to call on rebels to pull out of the captured territory, as ordered by regional heads of state. 
     
    He said the government is ready to listen to what these "outlaws" have to say so long as it deals with the best interests of the country.
     
    Bozize continued to make reference to foreigners among the fighters, who he said are after the country's mineral and oil resources, referring to them as "mercenary-terrorists."
     
    He says the information they have points to the presence of militiamen and fighters who do not speak the local Sango language, French or English.  He says he is referring to people who come from beyond neighboring countries.  He says the situation is much less clear than it seems to observers and to the political opposition, which he says is close to Seleka, something the opposition denies. 
     
    There has been no independent verification of the presence of foreigners in rebel-held areas. Access to the area is restricted and cell phone communications are down in much of the region.
     
    A delegation from the political opposition will take part in the talks in Libreville alongside delegations from the rebels and the government.  The talks will be mediated by the president of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso.

    You May Like

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.