Central African Republic votes under threat of violence
By Antoine Rolland BANGUI (Reuters) - Voters in Central African Republic go to the polls on Sunday for presidential and legislative elections being held under a cloud of violence as the government tries to hold off a rebel advance.
By Antoine Rolland
BANGUI (Reuters) - Voters in Central African Republic go to the polls on Sunday for presidential and legislative elections being held under a cloud of violence as the government tries to hold off a rebel advance.
Militias hostile to President Faustin-Archange Touadera, who is seeking a second term, have stepped up attacks since the constitutional court rejected several candidacies, including that of former President Francois Bozize, earlier this month.
The crisis has left many in the diamond and gold-rich nation of 4.7 million exhausted while stirring fears of a return to the worst violence of its recent past, which includes five coups and numerous rebellions since independence from France in 1960.
"For the last three days, I have been keeping my children close by my side," said Israel Malongou, an entrepreneur in the capital Bangui. "I want the elections to be over, whoever wins, so that we can get back to our lives."
Touadera was first elected in 2016 following a rebellion three years earlier that ousted Bozize. He has struggled to wrest control of vast swathes of the country from armed militias.
Successive waves of violence since 2013 have killed thousands and forced over a million from their homes.
Touadera is considered the favourite in the field of 17 candidates. His main challenger is Anicet Georges Dologuele, a former prime minister who finished runner-up in 2016 and is supported by Bozize. The election will go to a second round if no candidate receives over 50% of the vote.
On the campaign trail, Touadera has touted advances rebuilding state institutions and rejected opposition calls to delay the election.
"There is no institutional crisis. We must simply go on with the election," he said last week.
Touadera and the United Nations, which has over 12,800 uniformed peacekeepers in CAR, have accused Bozize of being behind the rebel offensive, which briefly seized the country's fourth largest city last week and has led to a wave of desertions from the army.
Bozize's candidacy was rejected because he faces an arrest warrant and U.N. sanctions for allegedly ordering assassinations and torture while president.
Bozize has denied those charges and his party has said he has nothing to do with the latest rebel offensive.
Touadera's international security partners have responded to the latest violence by sending additional troops and equipment, including 300 Russian military instructors and 300 Rwandan peacekeepers.
(Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Tom Hals (Reuters) - A police officer is being hailed for his role steering an angry mob away from the Senate chambers in Wednesday's deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At least 25 domestic terrorism cases have been opened as a result of Wednesday's assault on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told a Democratic lawmaker on Sunday
By Fransiska Nangoy and Bernadette Christina JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian authorities on Sunday located the black boxes of the Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the sea soon after taking off from the capital Jakarta, as human body parts and pieces of the plane were retrieved. The Boeing 737-500 with 62 passengers and crew was headed on a domestic flight to Pontianak in West Kalimantan on Saturday before it disappeared from radar screens four minutes after take-off