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

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukrainian PM Warns: Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
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 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.
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 US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid