Roundup on the Rebel Conquest of Bangui, Central African Republic

On March 24, after months of rebellion and negotiations, the rebel coalition Seleka took control of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR). For more background, see herehere, and especially here. This roundup attempts to capture key events and implications of the rebels’ capture of the capital:

  • VOA: “CAR Leader Flees; Rebel Chief Declares Self President.”
  • BBC: “CAR Rebel Head Michel Djotodia ‘Suspends Constitution’.”
  • Jeune Afrique (French) has a profile of Djotodia.
  • Al Jazeera: “CAR President [Francois Bozize] Seeks Refuge in Cameroon.”
  • Al Jazeera: “Looting and Gunfire in Captured CAR Capital.”
  • CSM: “Rebels Capture Central African Republic: Now Can They Govern It?”
  • Reuters: “Regional peacekeepers said that leader of the Seleka rebel coalition, self-proclaimed president Michel Djotodia, appealed for their help in restoring order after his own men joined in a second day of looting on Monday in the riverside capital Bangui.”
  • France24 reports that Seleka promises to hold elections after a three-year transitional period.
  • LA Times: “African Union Suspends [CAR] After President Ousted.”
  • IRIN: “CAR Coup Comes Amid Deepening Humanitarian Crisis.”
  • Statements by UN Secretary General Ban Ki MoonUS State Department, UK Foreign Secretary, and French President Francois Hollande.

7 thoughts on “Roundup on the Rebel Conquest of Bangui, Central African Republic

  1. Pingback: CAR Rebel Leader Suspends Constitution | World News Curator

  2. Pingback: CAR analysis round-up | The More Things Change

  3. Central african republic will hold elections. This because the rebels know well that as caretaker government they don’t have mandate to steer the country to democratic path. Such, they know elections is pathway to restoration of democratic institutions, recognition by international community, peacefull resolution of future conflicts etc.
    It is a bet that a good government will be ushered in after three years of reconstruction of C.A.R by the caretaker government

    • So far we’ve seen nothing to suggest that. Not internationally, not from the opposition parties, not from the nation’s past and not from how these things tend to turn out.

      • I’m afraid I have to agree. There does not seem to be any pressure–international, domestic or historical–on Djotodia to lead an actual transition to democratic institutions. I think it is much more likely that one of two things will occur in the next few months:

        1) Djotodia finds the political resources to insulate himself maintaining control of the military and potential rebel organizations and beginning to establish a strong party. He has already identified Chinese and South African mining interests in his country as potential government revenues i.e. patronage. And awaiting re-negotiations over contracts, AREVA (uranium – France) and AXMIN (Canadian based – gold mining company) have both postponed activities until a clearer picture of the government’s structure is in place.

        2) Alternatively, the Seleka coalition might fall apart and internal fighting among former military, rebels and external actors could bring about the collapse of his government well before elections in 2016.

        In either case, time is on the side of the ‘care-taker’ government. The longer Djotodia has to implement and complete a transition to multi-party elections (not exactly democracy) the more likely it is that he will be able to remain in power. CAR’s neighbor to the north, Chad, experienced a similar rebel takeover twenty-three years ago. Then, after a six year transition, multi-party presidential elections installed Idriss Deby the leader of the rebellion as head of state. He continues to be president today. Is the same process inconceivable in CAR?

  4. Pingback: Biweekly Roundup – April 6, 2013 | Hic Sunt...

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