Ex-Seleka rebel leader pledges to block elections in CAR

Nourredine Adam, leader of splinter faction of Seleka rebel group pledges to stop upcoming elections in Central African Republic, less than one week after Pope Francis called for national reconciliation

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Seleka fighters walk in a street near Bambari in Central African Republic.

A former Seleka rebel leader announced on Friday that he would not allow upcoming election to take place in regions of the Central African Republic.

The country is planning to hold a referendum on December 13 on a proposed new constitution and new nationwide polls on December 27.  

Nourredine Adam, leader of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central Africa (FPRC), a splinter faction of the former Seleka rebel group said, "[In the north and east] there are no hospitals, no schools, no roads. That's what led us to take up arms."

"If they want to send in doctors or teachers, they will be welcome. But any other type of government worker we will not accept. Carrying out a vote in the current climate is not possible," he said.

The capital city of Bangui has witnessed an increased amount of clashes between religious groups that have left more than 100 people dead since late September, according to Human Rights Watch.

Adam has been based since the end of September together with some 500 to 700 of his fighters which seems very difficult to hold the upcoming polls.

In March 2013, united opposition group Seleka - mainly Muslim - overthrew President Francois Bozize who has been highly criticised for corruption and abuses of human rights. After Seleka came to power and took control of the whole country, a militia group called Anti-Balaka started fighting against Seleka and carried out large scale attacks against Muslims in the Central African Republic.

United Nations’s peacekeeping forces, also known as MINUSCA, have been sent by the UN Security Council to stop the violence and help to stabilise the country.

Last week, Pope Francis made a high-profile visit to the country to call for a national reconciliation, saying that Christians and Muslims were "brothers" but less than 24 hours after he left the crisis resumed. 

TRTWorld and agencies