News / Africa

CAR President Fires Defense Minister, Army Chief

President Francois Bozize addresses crowds  in Bangui, Central African Republic Dec., 2012President Francois Bozize addresses crowds in Bangui, Central African Republic Dec., 2012
x
President Francois Bozize addresses crowds  in Bangui, Central African Republic Dec., 2012
President Francois Bozize addresses crowds in Bangui, Central African Republic Dec., 2012
VOA News
Central African Republic President Francois Bozize has fired his son as defense minister and fired the army chief of staff, after a string of victories by rebel forces.

The firings were announced in a decree read over state radio Wednesday.  The decree said Bozize is taking the defense minister's post for himself.

The dramatic move comes as the rebels seem poised to move on the capital.   A coalition of rebel groups known as Seleka captured several major towns and cities last month and is positioned less than 200 kilometers from the capital, Bangui.

Earlier Wednesday, a central African regional force created a buffer zone between the capital and the rebel stronghold of Sibut.  VOA correspondent Anne Look, who is in the CAR, reports that about 500 soldiers from Chad, Gabon and the Republic of Congo assembled Wednesday in the town of Damara.

The head of the regional force, General Jean Felix Akaga, warned the rebels Wednesday that to attack Damara would be a "declaration of war" against the 10-nation Economic Community of Central African States.

He also said government troops are not to advance beyond Damara to attack the rebels.

  • Soldiers patrol a street in Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • An end-of-year sign in French reading "happy holidays" hangs over a largely empty street in the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • A bushmeat seller in the market in the Bimbo neighborhood of the capital Bangui, Central African Republic, January 1, 2013.
  • Soldiers from the Congolese contingent of the Central African Multinational Force (FOMAC) arrive at an airport in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • People wait in line at the BSIC bank in in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 31, 2012.
  • Central African Republic soldiers walk near a taxi station in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • A Central African Republic soldier walks past a vendor on a street in Bangui, December 31, 2012.
  • A security guard sits near a closed shop in Bangui, Central African Republic, December 31, 2012.

Both the rebels and the CAR government have indicated they are ready for peace talks.  Regional leaders are trying to organize talks that would take place in Gabon on January 10.  

In the capital Wednesday, supporters of President Bozize set up roadblocks and checked vehicles in the capital to stop a feared rebel incursion.  Rumors have been circulating in Bangui that the rebels are trying to infiltrate the city.

President Bozize has led the Central African Republic since seizing power in a 2003 coup.

Seleka accuses him of failing to implement peace deals that ended an earlier rebellion, and is demanding that the president step down.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
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.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid