Central African Republic President Francois Bozize dissolved the government on Sunday, a decree broadcast on national radio said, after pledging to form a unity government at recent peace talks.
While no explanation was given for Sunday’s move, Bozize had promised a new unity government after peace talks aimed at halting a near civil war ended last month.
During a visit to Libreville last week, Bozize had said a government would be formed “very soon,” without providing further details.
The current government led by Prime Minister Faustin-Archange Touadera was formed in January last year.
The long-delayed dialogue at last month’s 12-day peace talks brought together some 200 representatives of Touadera’s government, opposition, civil society groups and rebel movements. It was aimed at paving the way to ending unrest in the impoverished and landlocked country.
A new “consensus” government should be tasked with “restoring peace and security throughout the country” and “work for genuine and lasting reconciliation among its citizens,” the final report from the talks said.
It admitted that “the many forums for reconciliation and dialogue have not enabled the Central African Republic to be rooted definitively in peace, stability and development, as shown by the insecurity and tragic events that occur in the north of the country.”
A highlight of the conference that brought together the country’s various factions was the return of former president Ange-Felix Patasse after five years in exile in Togo to attend the talks.
Patasse made a striking vow to recognize Bozize, who ousted him in the 2003 coup, rather than call for his removal as some of his opponents have insisted.
“The solution is not to ask you to leave power. It rests mainly in the prospect of bringing the people to democratic, transparent and fair elections in 2010,” he said.
The report recommended the holding of municipal elections this year, followed by presidential and parliamentary polls next year.
It also called for auditing several economic sectors, disarming former combatants and creating a truth and reconciliation commission.
One of the world’s poorest countries, the Central African Republic has been racked for years by insecurity with rebel groups, bandits and government troops blamed for widespread criminal activity.
Following mediation efforts by Gabon, the government signed four peace accords with rebel groups between February 2007 and June last year.
Bozize first came to power in 2003 when as armed forces chief of staff he ousted the increasingly unpopular elected president Patasse after years of political turmoil and economic woes.
Once in power Bozize found the state coffers were virtually empty and began anti-corruption measures.
In May 2005, he won an election for president after overseeing a political transition.
‘TRAVEL FREELY’: Visitors from 10 countries deemed low-risk would be allowed into Thailand, while others must still undergo a week of quarantine at a hotel Thailand plans to fully reopen to vaccinated tourists from countries deemed low risk from Nov. 1, the country’s leader said on Monday, citing the urgent need to save the kingdom’s ailing economy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand attracted nearly 40 million visitors a year drawn to its picturesque beaches and robust nightlife, with tourism making up almost 20 percent of its national income. However, pandemic-related travel restrictions have left the economy battered, contributing to its worst performance in more than 20 years. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that the country would be reopening its borders to vaccinated tourists travelling by air from
Vaccination is highly effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19, even against the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, a vast study in France has shown. The research published yesterday — focusing on prevention of severe COVID-19 and death, not infection — looked at 22 million people over 50 and found those who had received jabs were 90 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die. The results confirm observations from the US, the UK and Israel, but researchers say it is the largest study of its kind so far. Looking at data collected starting in December last year, when France launched its vaccination campaign,
Australia’s highest court yesterday dismissed an intellectual freedom claim by a university physicist who was fired in part over his public statements that scientists exaggerated damage to the Great Barrier Reef. Five High Court judges unanimously dismissed physicist Peter Ridd’s claim that he had been unlawfully dismissed in 2018 by James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. The court ruled that a clause in his employment contract that protected his intellectual freedom was not a “general freedom of speech” clause and did not protect him from being fired for serious misconduct under the university’s code of conduct. Australian Minister for Education Alan Tudge said
South Korea yesterday said that it would lift COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings next week as the country prepares to switch to a “living with COVID-19” strategy amid rising vaccination levels. A new panel established this week is drawing up a plan for a gradual lifting of curbs, aiming to lift restrictions and reopen the economy next month on the expectation that 80 percent of the adult population will be fully vaccinated. From Monday, the South Korean government is to allow gatherings of up to four unvaccinated people and ease operating-hour restrictions imposed on venues such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas, South