South Africa donates equipment to CAR for elections

South Africa announces it will provide Central African Republic with vehicles and computers for upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Demonstrators gather in Bangui demand the resignation of interim president Catherine Samba Panza in Central African Republic on September 28, 2015

The South African government on Tuesday donated vehicles and computers to the transitional government of the Central African Republic for the upcoming elections in the country.

"The donation of 15 vehicles and 1,200 computers follows a request from the Secretary General of the United Nations to President Jacob Zuma for South African assistance," the Department of International Relational Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said in a statement.

The Central African Republic will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Dec. 27 after two years of conflict following the March 2013 coup.

The elections were supposed to be held in October but were postponed to December due to rampant violence in the capital Bangui.   

The elections follow a recently held referendum to adopt a new constitution for the country.

Nourredine Adam, a rebel leader of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central Africa (FPRC), a splinter faction of the Seleka rebel group, has warned that elections will not take place in the northern Kaga Bandoro region which is under his control.

Adam also recently declared an autonomous state in the northeastern part of the country which he has named the republic of Lagone.

South Africa has said it will reject any attempts by any groups to derail the conclusion of the transitional period that comes to an end on March 31, 2016.

"The South African government reconfirms its commitment to continue supporting the people of the Central African Republic, bilaterally and multilaterally, in their quest for a better and brighter future," South Africa\s Foreign Ministry said.

Tensions still remain high in Bangui where over 100 people have been killed in ethnic clashes between Muslim and Christian militias since September.  

The Central African Republic - a landlocked, mineral-rich country - descended into anarchy in 2013, when Seleka rebels – said to be mostly Muslim – ousted Christian president Francois Bozize, who had come to power in a 2003 coup.

Seleka soldiers are reported to have committed several atrocities against the Christian population during their nine month rule, which led to the creation of the anti-balaka militia, a pro Christian group.

Since then the country has been plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between the anti-balaka and former seleka fighters.

Catherine Samba Panza was elected in 2014 as interim President of CAR after Seleka leader President Michael Djotodia was forced to resign.