Central African Republic president flees capital amid violence, official says

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by AfricaHunting.com, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Central African Republic president flees capital amid violence, official says

    (CNN) -- The president of the Central African Republic has fled the country's capital and rebels have seized control of the city, a government official said Sunday.

    President Francois Bozize crossed into the Democratic Republic of Congo, said Jules Gautier Ngbapo, a spokesman for the government's territorial administration minister. He declined to disclose Bozize's location Sunday.

    "The Central African Republic has just opened a new page in its history," said a written statement from Justin Kombo Moustapha, secretary general of the Seleka rebels.

    The statement described Bozize as the country's former president and urged residents of the landlocked country to remain calm and prepare themselves to welcome rebel forces.

    Word of Bozize's surprise departure came as violence erupted in the capital, Bangui.
    Read more: Who are Seleka?

    Witnesses reported hours of gunfire, and Ngbapo said at least seven civilians were killed as rebels and local residents looted shops.

    Some South African soldiers were killed in clashes, according to a statement from the office of French President Francois Hollande. South African officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

    A United Nations spokeswoman based in Bangui described the situation as confusing and very tense.

    "A number of U.N. offices have been looted as well as residences of some U.N. personnel," spokeswoman Uwolowulakana Ikavi said.

    Sounds of fierce gunfire rang out for hours Sunday, she said.

    The country has been on edge since rebel fighters pushed their way into the capital.

    The wave of unrest started in December, when the Seleka rebel coalition launched its offensive. The rebels accused Bozize of reneging on a peace deal and demanded that he step down.

    The rebel group, based in the country's north, managed to take control of several towns and move toward Bangui in the following weeks.

    The Seleka and the government brokered a new peace deal in January, agreeing to form a unity government led by Bozize. But that peace deal also fell apart.

    On Saturday, about 150 French troops secured the airport in Bangui.

    France also asked for an urgent U.N. Security Council meeting to address the crisis in its former colony.

    Hollande's office said the French president had spoken Sunday with South African President Jacob Zuma, expressing condolences for the soldiers' deaths.

    "They called on all the parties to be calm," the statement from Hollande's office said, "to stop looting and to respect the political accords of Libreville," where leaders signed a peace deal in January.

    The African Union condemned the Seleka rebels' renewed offensive and also announced a travel ban and asset freeze against political and military actors involved in violating humanitarian rights or the January peace agreement.

    Meanwhile, on Sunday, U.N. officials in the Central African Republic were preparing to evacuate.

    U.N. staff on the ground in Bangui are not allowed to leave the compound, Ikavi said, and non-essential staff will be evacuated or relocated once the security situation allows.
    "As a human being, I am afraid," Ikavi said. "No one can stay calm when you hear heavy shooting not far from the place that you are staying."



    Source: cnn.com
  2. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Wow. That is something!
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I thought they worked it out and had things settled for a slow transition.
    I guess they did not think things were progressing well enough.

    That throws things up in the air for hunting.

    Hope everyone stays safe.
  4. zenbear

    zenbear AH Veteran

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    I will never get a Bongo. RSA ranches should try to raise them . They have them in Texas but it's just not the same.

    oh well politics is tough.
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Be patient, it will settle down.

    Does that sound like a really hopeful guy in total denial or what!? :)
  6. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I really hope it does settle down, but i have my doubts, just returned to Kinshasa from Gemena (DRC) last night where we (UN) were evacuating wounded South African troopers from CAR thru DRC. I will say that if someone is leaving their country and proceeding to the Democratic Republic of Congo as a safehaven, their country (CAR) must be really bad off.... i think it will be awhile before the hunting is back on sadly
  7. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    jumping from one frying pan to another......
  8. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    These guys are the coup masters,bet there is another one within two years.
  9. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Paw Print , couldn't agree more, the one thing i have learned in the DRC is to follow the money, as long as it lands in the right hands all is calm (relatively speaking) as soon as it doesn't make it to the right hands, you can bet your last dollar someone is picking up guns!
  10. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    I have a trip booked with CAWA for a month long full bag safari; I've been watching the whole fiasco quite closely and am a bit concerned about the viability of a safari which is a true shame for the local people, the outfitter and the hunters.

    I hope Erik and his team and Christophe are well and safe. Fingers crossed it all sorts itself out for everyone's sake!
  11. DawnRoar

    DawnRoar New Member

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    I was the first from the States to brave CAR with Eric this year. I hunted Jan 10th through the 29th and thought they had it sorted. Kinda nice being the only one in any of his camps for a week. My wife was not happy when she read up on the situation. I met Christophe in bongo camp and he is a hoot. There will always be trouble in CAR but the good news is Eric can navigate it. I took him on his word it would be safe for me to go and it was. Has anyone heard if any hunters are hung up do to the recent uprising?

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