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President ‘Not In Complete Control’ In CAR As Hundreds Die In Days

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Michel Djotodia, Interim President of CAR

Michel Djotodia, Interim President of CAR

The president of the Central African Republic has admitted to Al Jazeera that he is not in complete control of his country.

Michel Djotodia said he could not stop armed groups operating in the country, as a wave of killings left hundreds dead in just a few days.

“It is too much to say I have no control. I control my men. The men I can’t control are not my men,” said Djotodia, who came to power after a mainly-Muslim armed group now known as Seleka overthrew President Francois Bozize earlier this year.

The mostly Muslim former rebels who control the country are patrolling neighbourhoods across the capital of Bangui, despite an order to return to their barracks.

The Red Cross says 400 bodies have been found after three days of fighting between Seleka and a largely-Christian armed group named Anti-Balaka (“anti-machete”, the weapon of choice of many Seleka fighters).

Meanwhile, thousands more international troops are on their way to the embattled country. The African Union has around 2,500 troops there now, but is increasing that to 6,000. In addition, 1,200 French troops have been bolstered by the arrival of 400 more soldiers.

On Saturday, the country’s interim authorities ordered all forces except foreign peacekeepers and the presidential guard off the streets of Bangui, after a hospital in the capital was attacked by Seleka rebels.

The gunmen reportedly pulled injured victims from Bangui’s Amitie hospital, and shot dead at least ten. The hospital has since been abandoned.

French President Francois Hollande also said on Saturday it would be difficult for the current head of Central African Republic to stay in place because he let the crisis there unfold.

“I don’t want to point fingers but we cannot keep in place a president who was not able to do anything, or even worse, who let things happen,” Hollande said in an interview broadcast on the France 24 TV channel.

He said elections should be held before 2015 when Djotodia’s mandate ends. “The idea is to head as fast as possible towards elections,” he said.

“Peacekeepers are patrolling the main roads. This is helping keep the looting down. But the atrocities are inside the neighbourhoods,” said Amy Martin, head of the UN officer for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“If they can get into the neighbourhoods, we might start seeing a reduction in these crimes. The level of atrocities and the lack of humanity, the senseless killing defies imagination,” Martin said.

The latest bloodshed started on Thursday as armed Christians from Anti-Balaka raided Muslim neighbourhoods, in a country that has been seeing tit-for-tat violence between rival armed groups since Bozize’s downfall in March.

Djotodia, who was leader of the Seleka rebel alliance, has struggled to control his loose band of fighters, many from neighbouring Chad and Sudan.

French troops rumbled into their former colony on Friday, trying to stop violence in the capital and to stabilise the country after the UN Security Council authorised Paris to use force to help African peacekeepers. [Al Jazeera]

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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