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

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid