SUDAN WATCH: Sudan: Interior Minister requests Interpol to arrest Darfur rebels. Central African Republic: Seleka rebel coalition seizes capital Bangui - CAR president flees to DR Congo - France sends troops to CAR (UPDATE 1: CAR president flees to Cameroon)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sudan: Interior Minister requests Interpol to arrest Darfur rebels. Central African Republic: Seleka rebel coalition seizes capital Bangui - CAR president flees to DR Congo - France sends troops to CAR (UPDATE 1: CAR president flees to Cameroon)

SUDAN'S Interior Minister has requested Interpol to arrest the leaders of three Darfur rebel groups, namely:  JEM, SLM-Abdul Wahid and SLA-Minni Minawi.  Reportedly, the three groups have recently formed an alliance with the SPLM-N -the revolutionary front alliance- with the aim of toppling the democratically elected Government of Sudan. 

Meanwhile, in Central African Republic (CAR), the Seleka rebel coalition appears to have seized CAR's capital city Bangui.  More than 170,000 people are estimated to have been displaced within CAR and others are fleeing to Chad and to DRC.  CAR President Bozize is said to have fled to DRC.  France announced on Sunday afternoon (24 March 2013) that it would be sending another 350 troops to CAR to join the 250 already there.  It is expected that the extra troops may be redeployed from Mali, where France has been fighting an Islamist insurgency.  The French have called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the deteriorating situation.

Further details here below.

Sudan's interior minister requests Interpol to arrest Darfur rebels

KHARTOUM, Sunday, 24 March 2013 (Xinhua) - Sudanese Interior Minister Ibrahim Mahmoud has requested the Interpol to arrest leaders of the rebel movements in Sudan's Darfur region, Khartoum Almeghar Alsyasi daily reported.

The paper quoted the minister as saying that "the Darfur rebels are criminals that must be pursued by the Interpol and brought to justice."

Mahmoud further urged the rebel movements to join the peace negotiations, adding that the rebels targeted the citizens and engaged in criminal behavior for which they should be punished, according to the report.

He also noted that all the Darfur people are rejecting the rebellion.

Three Darfur rebel movements are rejecting to sit down at the negotiation table with the Sudanese government including the Justice and Equality  Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Abdul-Wahid Mohamed Nur faction and the SLA/Minni Minawi faction.

The three movements have recently formed an alliance with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM)/northern sector -the revolutionary front alliance- with the aim to topple the government.

The African Union Peace and Security Council has recently urged the Darfur armed movements to join the negotiations to reach a peaceful settlement for the conflict in the region.

Source:  English.news.cn 2013-03-24; 16:23:02.  Editor: Hou Qiang
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/africa/2013-03/24/c_132258352.htm
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Central African Republic (CAR):  Rebels seize CAR's capital city
  • Seleka rebel coalition seizes Bangui, the capital city of CAR 
  •  CAR President Francois Bozize is said to have fled to DR Congo 
  • 170,000+ people displaced in CAR and others fleeing to Chad and to DR Congo
  • CAR has extensive deposits of uranium, crude oil, gold and diamonds
According to the below copied report from Sky News in the UK, the president of the Central African Republic (CAR) has fled to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as the Seleka rebel coalition seizes CAR's capital city Bangui.

France announced on Sunday afternoon (24 March) it would be sending another 350 troops to CAR to join the 250 already there.  It is expected that the extra troops may be redeployed from Mali, where France has been fighting an Islamist insurgency.  The French have called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the deteriorating situation.

Note that the report ends by saying:  "CAR regularly languishes closes to the bottom of the lists of the world's poorest countries despite extensive deposits of uranium, crude oil, gold and diamonds".

Also, according to the below copied report from BBC News online, a Paris-based rebel spokesman Eric Massi told AFP news agency that the rebels had secured Bangui and military camps and were deploying across the capital "to launch security operations and prevent looting".  But Amy Martin of  the UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA, told the BBC World Service that looting was happening, and more than 170,000 people are estimated to have been displaced within CAR and others are fleeing to Chad and to DRC.

South African peacekeepers in CAR to support CAR government troops suffered casualties but failed to stop the rebel advance.  Observers say CAR President Francois Bozize kept his army weak because he was afraid of a military coup.  He came to power himself in a coup in 2003.  CAR, which has a population of about 4.5 million, has been hit by a series of rebellions since independence from France in 1960.

Full story at Congo Watch (a sister site of Sudan Watch) Monday, 25 March 2013:  http://congowatch.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/central-african-republic-seleka-rebel.html
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UPDATE 1 on Monday, 25 March 2013; 3:15pm UK:

C. African Republic president flees to Cameroon
YAOUNDE, Cameroon (Associated Press) - The president of CAR fled to neighboring Cameroon on Monday, as the rebels who overthrew him began squabbling who would now lead the impoverished nation long wracked by rebellions.   The government of Cameroon confirmed Monday [25 March] that Bozize is seeking "temporary" refuge there before leaving for another unspecified country.  Full story at:  http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/story/21782944/c-african-rebel-consider-me-head-of-state

Situation in the Central African Republic
WASHINGTON, 25 March 2013/(APO)/ - US Department of State Press Statement: http://appablog.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/situation-in-the-central-african-republic-2/

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General on the situation in the Central African Republic
NEW YORK, 25 March 2013/ (APO)/ – The Secretary-General condemns the unconstitutional seizure of power that took place in the Central African Republic (CAR) on 24 March 2013 and calls for the swift restoration of constitutional order. He reiterates that the Libreville Agreements, negotiated by the Heads of States and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), remain the most viable framework to ensure durable peace and stability in the country.  Full story at:  http://appablog.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/statement-attributable-to-the-spokesperson-for-the-secretary-general-on-the-situation-in-the-central-african-republic/
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