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March 9-15, 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for the Central African Republic
Posted on March 16, 2015

Contents

Compiled by Christina Murphy

  1. Ex-Seleka general arrested in Bangui
  2. UN Security Council delegation visits CAR
  3. Three gendarmes killed near Bangui 
  4. Women hold sit-in at MINUSCA headquarters

1. Ex-Seleka general arrested in Bangui
Government-owned media

"Un général ex-seleka sous les verrous à Bangui." Afrique Actualité, reprinted by Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 10 March 2015. In French.

  • An ex-Seleka general was stopped by members of the gendarmerie and other security forces while traveling to the Bangui airport with four other people. A source in the gendarmerie reported that the general was stopped for routinely violating a ban on carrying weapons. 
  • The article notes that this general, who lives in the PK5 neighborhood of Bangui, has been identified as the leader of an armed militia responsible for many abuses in the PK5 area. 

"Centrafrique: arrestation sous tension d'un chef de l'ex-Seleka." Radio France Internationale (RFI), reprinted by Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 11 March 2015. In French.

  • The arrest of ex-Seleka general Ousmane Mahamat Ousmane angered former Seleka fighters this week. Ousmane was arrested after entering the Bangui airport with an armed escort.
  • Ousmane's supporters in the Front Populaire pour le Renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC) political party spoke out against the arrest, saying that he has the right to travel with armed bodyguards. They also threatened that, if he is not released, the FPRC will reconsider their participation in the Bangui Forum. 
Privately-owned media

"Le général Mahamat Ousman Mahamat arrêté à Bangui." JournaldeBangui.com, 10 March 2015. In French.

  • The ex-Seleka general Mahamat Ousman, the former secretary of Urban Affairs in the government of Michel Djotodia, was arrested on Monday 9 March for the illegal possession of arms and the constitution of an armed group. 
  • Ousman has reportedly contributed to insecurity in the PK5 neighborhood of Bangui and is, according to some sources, also wanted by Chadian forces for conspiracy against the Deby government.
  • The article notes that Ousman's arrest risks sparking violence in Bangui. After his arrest Ousman reportedly said that he would "not exclude putting Bangui to fire and the sword" if he was not released. 

"Réaction du Fprc (ex-Seleka) sur l'arrestation du Général Ousmane Mahamat Ousman." JournaldeBangui.com, 12 March 2015. In French.

  • This article reprints a statement issued by the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC) after the arrest of ex-Seleka general Ousmane Mahamat Ousman.
  • The statement condemns the "permanent harassment" of their members, including the arrests of Ousman and his aides. They demand Ousman's immediate release "without delay and without conditions". 
  • The statement also warns that this incident "gravely threatens our participation in the Bangui Forum". 

Sokambi, Sylvestre. "Le delai de garde à vue de Ousman Mahamat Ousman de la Seleka reconduit." Centrafrique Libre, 13 March 2015. In French.

  • Public prosecutor Ghislain Nguresenguet announced that ex-Seleka general Ousman will remain in custody for an additional three days in order to allow investigators to complete their work.
  • Nguresenguet also stated that when the investigations are complete it is possible Ousman will be transferred to the central prison in Bangui to await his hearing. 
2. UN Security Council delegation visits CAR
Privately-owned media

"L'ONU qualifie d'extraordinaire le travail de la Minusca." Radio Ndeke Luka, 12 March 2015. In French.

  • Fifteen members of the UN Security Council completed a two-day visit to the Central African Republic and praised the achievements of MINUSCA.
  • François Delattre, president of the Security Council, stated in a press conference that the delegation was so impressed by the operations of MINUSCA that "we are in the process of raising MINUSCA's ceiling so that [the mission] can have all the resources it needs..."
  • During the trip, the representatives met with transitional authorities, members of civil society, and the international and national press. They also visited the city of Bria and internally displaced persons camps in Bangui.
International media

"Central African Republic: Security Council Visit." Human Rights Watch, 9 March 2015. In English.

  • Human Rights Watch issued a press release ahead of the Security Council's visit to the Central African Republic urging the UN to denounce continuing attacks against civilians and support accountability and justice.
  • Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, wrote that "improving protection for civilians and ensuring justice for the brutal killings that have ravaged the country should be at the top of their agenda."
  • The statement also calls for the Security Council members to highlight the plight of Muslims living in enclaves in the western part of the country and to investigate abuses committed by AU peacekeepers.  
3. Three gendarmes killed near
Bangui Privately-owned media

"Trois gendarmes tués près de Bangui, l'embargo de l'ONU mis en cause." Radio Ndeke Luka, 9 March 2015. In French.

  • Three gendarmes were killed in an ambush by unidentified armed men in the village of Nguéréngou north of Bangui. Family members of those killed are criticizing the UN arms embargo for leaving security forces unequipped and unable to protect themselves or others.
  • When asked about the incident, members of the Ministry for Public Security declined to comment. A representative from the gendarmerie said that an investigation into the deaths is ongoing. 
4. Women hold sit-in at MINUSCA headquarters
Privately-owned media

"Des femmes font sit-in devant la MINUSCA pour demander la réhabilitation des FACA." Centrafrique Libre, 11 March 2015. In French.

  • Approximately 100 members of the Organization of Central African Women and other NGOs staged a sit-in at the MINUSCA headquarters in Bangui calling for the reinstatement of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA).
  • Cécile Gueret, president of the Organization of Central African Women, said that the FACA should be reinstated in order to help stop the current wave of violence, especially since they have knowledge of the terrain, unlike the international forces.
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