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UN Official Calls for Political, Humanitarian Aid for Central African Republic

A high-ranking official for the UN says the political situation in Central African Republic needs to be stabilized in order for the newly elected government to help provide relief to refugees returning from Chad, and for internally displaced people. Many of them fled their homes – or the country -- two years ago, when a coup and subsequent elections brought General Francois Bozize to power.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for the CAR, Stan Nkwain, told Voice of America reporter William Eagle one way to strengthen government stability – and its ability to deliver services – is for donors to provide payments to teachers, doctors, health care workers and the army so they will end their strike. They are protesting the failure of the government to pay them -- in many cases, for years. Mr. Nkwain said donors will likely tie their assistance to a reform package now being negotiated with the International Monetary Fund. It calls for free market reforms and improved managerial practices in return for new loans to the government.