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April 6-12, 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for the Central African Republic
Posted on April 20, 2015
1. Protestors attack MINUSCA base; 1 killed
International Media

“Violentes manifestations contre un camp de la MINUSCA à Kaga-Bandoro.” MINUSCA, via ReliefWeb, 10 April 2015. In French.

  • On the morning Friday 10 April, between 300 and 400 protestors attacked a camp of the UN mission (MINUSCA) near the town of Kaga-Bandoro. The protestors were armed and threw projectiles at the UN peacekeeping forces, injuring several peacekeepers.
  • During the attack the peacekeepers fired warning shots, killing one protestor and injuring several others.
  • MINUSCA issued a statement saying that they deeply regret the incident and are opening an investigation into the event. The article notes that this is the second violent attack on MINUSCA forces in a week. 

“RCA: une base de l’ONU attaquée dans le Nord, un manifestant tué.” RFI, 10 April 2015. In French.

  • More than 300 protestors attacked the base of UN peacekeepers in Kaga-Bandoro in the north of the country on Friday 10 April. The peacekeepers dispersed the crowd, who were armed and set fire to the camp entrance, with tear gas and warning shots.
  • One protestor was killed and several others wounded. Several peacekeepers were also injured due to projectiles thrown by the protestors.
  • The article notes that this attack “was the result of communal tensions between the local population and Peuhl herders who are in the migration season.” The article quotes Hamadan Toure, a MINUSCA spokesman: “The protestors think that we are taking the side of the community although we have always affirmed our impartiality. They think that we are taking the side of the Mbororo. … There are clashes between herders and farmers pretty much everywhere. But this amplitude is regrettable.”
  • Several locals interviewed by RFI claimed that the peacekeepers opened fire into the crowd. MINUSCA spokesman Hamadan Toure refuted that idea and said that an investigation into the incident would begin soon. 

“RCA: violentes manifestations contre la Minusca à Kaga-Bandoro.” Afrique Actualité, 11 April 2015. In French.

  • Several hundred residents of Kaga-Bandoro, in the north of CAR, protested against acts of violence committed by armed Peuhl herders against civilians and called for the withdrawal of the Pakistani contingent of MINUSCA due to their alleged complicity in the attacks.
  • The UN peacekeepers fired shots into the crowd, killing one and injuring seven protestors.
  • The article notes: “The locality of Kaga-Bandoro in the Nana-Gribizi region is the victim of multiple communal tensions in this period of migration. The Peuhl herders, generally armed, keep their herds of cows in nearby pastures, destroying the crops of locals who do not dare to report them.”
2. Ceasefire agreement signed in Nairobi
Privately-owned media

“Signature de déclaration d’engagement entre Antibalaka et ex-Séléka.” Radio Ndeke Luka, 10 April 2015. In French.

  • In a statement released on Wednesday 8 April, the Kenyan president reported that a ceasefire agreement has been reached between leaders of the Antibalaka and ex-Seleka groups. This “declaration of engagement” states that the signatories will support the Brazzaville accords signed in 2014 and recognize the current transitional government.
  • The agreement was signed by Joachim Kokate for the Antibalakas, and by Nourredine Adam for the ex-Selekas. Former president Michel Djotodia observed the proceedings, but François Bozizé was not present. 
International media

"RCA: Djotodia et Bozizé ne signent pas l'engagement de Nairobi." RFI, 9 April 2015. In French. 

  • On Thursday 8 April a declaration of engagement was signed by leaders of the Antibalaka and ex-Seleka movements in Nairobi, where they have been in negotiations since December 2014. Former presidents Michel Djotodia and François Bozizé did not sign the agreement.
  • The Nairobi negotiations have been widely rejected by the international community as well as key transitional leaders in the Central African Republic.
  • According to the article, the lead mediators (presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Denis Sassou-Nguesso) had originally hoped for a more comprehensive agreement and for Djotodia and Bozizé to sign the agreement. However, these goals was never met and the peace agreement became a "declaration of engagement".

"CAR rebel factions sign ceasefire agreement in Kenya." Al Jazeera, 9 April 2015. In English. 

  • Members of the ex-Seleka and Antibalaka rebel groups signed a ceasefire agreement in Nairobi on 8 April, aiming to "open a new chapter of political stability in their country."
  • The article notes that the Nairobi talks have been very controversial, as they are not officially recognized by the transitional government of CAR or the United Nations. It is possible, however, that the involvement of key rebel leaders in these talks may lead to more success on the ground.
3. Médecins Sans Frontières withdraws team from Kabo after attack
International media

"MSF suspends part of its activities in Kabo after an attack on its facilities." Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International, 9 April 2015. In English.

  • The humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières withdrew staff and partially suspended its activities from the Kabo hospital in northern CAR following a violent attack on the facility on 1 April 2015. 
  • On 1 April two unidentified gunmen attacked the MSF complex and stole valuables. A few days prior, an MSF vehicle was attacked on the outskirts of Kabo while returning from a field visit. 
  • In response to the attack, more than five hundred community members participated in a march through Kabo to protest the aggression against MSF and businesses closed for the day.

4. Bozizé and Djotodia excluded from Bangui Forum
Privately-owned media

"Bozizé et Djotodia exclus du Forum de réconciliation nationale." Xinhua, reprinted in Journal de Bangui, 7 April 2015. In French. 

  • The office of the presidency announced that former CAR presidents François Bozizé and Michel Djotodia will not take part in the Bangui Forum scheduled to take place 27 April - 4 May. 
  • Minister Anicet Guiyama-Massogo explained in a statement that: "The Republic is respectful of its engagements vis-à-vis the international community and the decisions made by them. There are international sanctions against a number of figures, and we recognize that." 

"'Sans Bozizé, le KNK ne prendra pas part au forum' dixit le SG du KNK." Centrafrique Libre, 7 April 2015. In French.

  • In a recent interview the secretary general of the political party KNK, Bertin Bea, named the presence of François Bozizé at the Bangui Forum as a condition of his group's participation. 
  • Bea stated the reasons given to justify the absence of Bozizé and Djotodia from the proceedings are inadequate. The transitional government had previously explained that international sanctions prohibit Bozizé and Djotodia from traveling.
  • Bea also criticized the choice of Jean Jacques Demafouth as the coordinator of the Forum's organizing committee, stating: "...who does not know the past of this man? This is a strongly controversial figure. This is someone who led a great rebellion in this country. He does not create consensus. I do not see why he should be responsible for an event as important as this one." 

"Une manifestation pour réclamer la présence de Bozizé et de Djotodia au Forum." Centrafrique Libre, 7 April 2015. In French.

  • Nearly one hundred people protested in front of the MINUSCA headquarters in Bangui on 7 April, calling for the participation of former presidents François Bozizé and Michel Djotodia in the upcoming Bangui Forum.
  • The protestors said that the participation of the former presidents is critical for the success of the Bangui Forum, because the Central African people need to know the truth about the crisis.
  • The protest was organized after the Secretary General of the KNK said in an interview that his party's participation in the Bangui Forum is conditional upon Bozizé's presence. 



5. Ex-Seleka leader arrested in Bangui
Privately-owned media

"Arrestation de Abylah Awal, responsable politique de l'ex-Seleka." RFI, reprinted in Journal de Bangui, 11 April 2015. In French.

  • Abylah Awal, the political coordinator of the ex-Seleka group Union pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) in Bambari, was arrested in Bangui on 9 April, along with four other ex-Seleka leaders. He was reportedly arrested for carrying weapons and military materials. 
  • The UPC criticized the arrest, calling it arbitrary and a hindrance to their preparations for the Bangui Forum.

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