Major armed group withdraws from rebel coalition: Central African Republic

Bangui, Central African Republic, April 6 2021: The Unity for Peace Central Africa was the most powerful armed group in the Coalition of Patriots for Change. However, the group has now withdrawn from the union of rebels aiming to unseat President Archange Touadera.

The group’s head Ali Darassa said that since the start of the “electoral crisis the population has suffered terribly from insecurity, the health situation, famine and the lack of humanitarian assistance”. The UPC also reasserted its commitment to the Khartoum Accord process, an agreement between rebel groups and the government.

The coalition is an alliance of some of the war-torn country’s most powerful armed groups, who joined together on December 19 accusing Touadera, the front-runner in the December 27 elections, of trying to fix the vote. President Touadera was reelected with a very slim majority because of reduced voter turn out since large parts of the country are controlled by rebels.

Tensions have been high in the Central African Republic since the December election, although the surge in violence in recent months is just the latest flare-up in a civil war that has lasted eight years. More than 30,000 people have fled the country due to the violence surrounding the elections, according to UN figures.

On January 13, rebels launched twin attacks on the outskirts of the capital, but their offensive foundered faced with government forces backed by 12,000 UN peacekeepers force, Russian paramilitaries and Rwandan troops. Since January, the government and its allies have recaptured towns once held by fighters from the alliance of militias.

Thw government has accused former president Francois Bozize, the head of the CPC, of attempting a coup. Mineral-rich but rated the world’s second-poorest country on the Human Development Index, the CAR has been chronically unstable since its independence.

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