Ex-Seleka leader accuses CAR president of deal breach

Ex-Seleka leader accuses CAR president of deal breach
Ex-Seleka leader accuses CAR president of deal breach

Former Central African minister accused interim President Catherine Samba-Panza of not honoring the N’Djamena power-sharing agreement.

World Bull / News Desk

General Mohamed Dhaffane, a former minister of state in the government of former interim president Michel Djotodia and one of the founders of the seleka coalition, on Wednesday accused interim President Catherine Samba-Panza of not honoring the N’Djamena power-sharing agreement.

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“The transition must take the N’Djamena agreement as a guiding constitution, because it was due to this agreement that the former president Michel Djotodia resigned,” Dhaffane told a press conference in the capital Bangui.

“He respected the agreement and resigned so the transition too must respect it,” added the army general.

Djotodia, a Muslim, and his Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye stepped down in January during a regional summit in Chad.

Catherine Samba-Panza, a Christian who had been serving as mayor of capital Bangui, was elected interim president later the same month by the interim parliament.

According to Dhaffane, the N’Djamena agreement acknowledged that the premiership was supposed to be given to the seleka coalition, but Samba-Panza has instead appointed Andre Nzapayeke, a technocrat, as new interim prime minister.

Anadolu Agency has not been able to obtain a copy of the said agreement.

The Central African Republic (CAR) descended into anarchy in March 2013 when Seleka rebels – said to be mostly Muslim – ousted Francois Bozize, a Christian, who had come to power in a 2003 coup, and installed Djotodia as interim president.

In the months since, the country has been plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between the Christian anti-balaka militias and former seleka fighters.


General Dhaffane said the crisis in CAR required a political solution and not a military one.

“What is required now is for local politicians to sit and resolve their issues instead of using troops because it is a political crisis,” he told reporters.

The former minister also blamed Bozize for fomenting religious hatred in the country.

He went on to assert that military officers under Bozize had been among the first to torch a mosque in the town of Akurusubak in the Ndele province in 2009.

General Dhaffane outlined three priorities for the success of the current transition.

“The transition should strive to restore security by involving actors of the conflict and the international community should support them on this,” he said.

He added that people should refuse the idea of secession and work for consolidating unity.

“The government should also start a national reconciliation,” said the former minister.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency earlier this week, Dhaffane warned that continued killing and targeting of Muslim civilians in the country could draw in regional and international militant groups such as Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.

He also warned that former seleka fighters might strike back if Christian militiamen didn’t stop killing Muslims.

Muslims have been targeted with increasing frequency since Samba-Panza came to office.

Machete-wielding Christian militiamen now roam Bangui’s suburbs, often erecting illegal checkpoints in order to identify and lynch Muslims.

A number of Muslims have recently been lynched in broad daylight and their bodies set on fire. Several mosques in Bangui, too, have recently been destroyed and scores of Muslim homes looted.

Christians, who constitute the majority of CAR’s population, accuse Muslims of supporting former seleka rebels blamed for attacking Christian homes, looting property and carrying out summary executions.