Continue to pray for the political situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), a point of missionary efforts by the Grace Brethren movement for nearly 100 years. Here are several stories that appeared this morning.
C. African Republic leader faces rebel threat
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — After troops under Francois Bozize seized the capital of Central African Republic in 2003 amid volleys of machine-gun and mortar fire, he dissolved the constitution and parliament. Now a decade later it is Bozize who himself could be ousted from power with rebels having seized more than half the country and made their way to the doorstep of the capital in less than a month.
In a bid to avoid being overthrown, he’s promising to form a coalition government with rebels and to negotiate without conditions. It’s a sign of how serious a threat is now being posed by the rebel groups who call themselves Seleka, which means alliance in the local Sango language.
But Bozize says there’s one point not up for negotiation: him leaving office before his term ends in 2016.
Central African Republic rebels halt advance, agree to peace talks
(Reuters) – Rebels in Central African Republic said they had halted their advance on the capital on Wednesday and agreed to start peace talks, averting a clash with regionally backed troops in the mineral-rich nation.
The Seleka rebels had pushed to within striking distance of Bangui after a three-week onslaught and threatened to oust President Francois Bozize, accusing him of reneging on a previous peace deal and cracking down on dissidents.
Their announcement on Wednesday only gave the leader a limited reprieve as the fighters told Reuters they might insist on his removal in the negotiations.
“I have asked our forces not to move their positions starting today because we want to enter talks in (Gabon’s capital) Libreville for a political solution,” said Seleka spokesman Eric Massi, speaking by telephone from Paris.