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March 30 - April 05 , 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for the Central African Republic
Posted on April 8, 2015

1. Protest held in Bangui calling for release of ex-Seleka general
Government-owned media

"Une manifestation pour réclamer la libération de l'ex-ministre Ousman Mahamat Ousman."
Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 31 March 2015. In French.

  • Young residents of Bangui's 3rd arrondissement organized a peaceful march to the MINUSCA headquarters in Bangui, calling for the release of ex-Seleka general Ousman Mahamat Ousman. The group included both Muslim and Christian youths.
  • A spokesman for the Muslim youth involved in the march stated: "We have organized this peaceful march just to demand the liberation of our advisor Ousman Mahamat Ousman. Thanks to him, today some Christian youths and Muslim youths of the 3rd arrondissement are reuniting. He helps us morally and financially to restart our commercial activities." He also called Ousman's arrest "not justified". 
  • Another protester who identified himself as the leader of the Christian youths in the march said that Ousman's release is important in order to have a good outcome in the upcoming Bangui Forum. 

"Des jeunes du KM5 marchent pour réclamer la libération de Ousman Mahamat Ousman."
Centrafrique Libre, 31 March 2015. In French.

  • Both Muslim and Christian youths from Bangui's 3rd arrondissement marched on the MINUSCA headquarters to protest the arrest of Ousman Mahamat Ousman, an ex-Seleka general who was arrested on 9 March for carrying illegal weapons.
  • The protesters said that Ousman helped to bring peace between Christians and Muslims in the KM5 neighborhood and called his arrest unjust. One protester stated: "We are pointing out that Ousman has done a lot. He does not deserve this fate." 

2. Investigations into kidnappings of Cameroonians continues; FDPC denies involvement
Privately-owned media

"Des ressortissants camerounais enlevés: le gouvernement hausse le ton."
Radio Ndeke Luka, 31 March 2015. In French.

  • The government of CAR has strongly condemned the kidnapping of Cameroonian residents from the town of Bertoua on 20 March by an unidentified armed group.
  • Government spokesman Modibo Bachir Walidou called the kidnapping an act of terrorism, and said that investigations are underway to find the hostages and identify the kidnappers. 

"Rejet d'accusation d'enlèvement de Camrounais par le FDPC."
Radio Ndeke Luka, 1 April 2015. In French

  • The Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC), a rebel group led by Abdoulaye Miskine and formerly aligned with the ex-Seleka movement, denied responsibility for the kidnapping of nearly 20 Cameroonians on 20 March.
  • Miskine said in a phone interview that FDPC members have no interest in kidnapping Cameroonians due to the fact that he was recently released from Cameroonian custody and is no longer in the country. 
International media

"Des bandes armées centrafricaines multiplient des attaques à l'Est du Cameroun."
APA, via Africatime, 30 March 2015. In French.

  • Security forces in Cameroon have reported several instances of armed groups from CAR crossing the border to kidnap, harass, and rape residents of eastern Cameroon in recent weeks.
  • In addition to the attempted kidnapping of nearly fifteen people near the town of GarouaBoulai last week, security forces reportedly thwarted several other attempts during the weekend of 28-29 March.
  • The article notes that rebel movements from CAR have taken advantage of the Cameroonian military's involvement in the regional fight against Boko Haram in the north of the country, which has left fewer resources and security along the border with CAR. 

3. Four women kidnapped in Bangui
Privately-owned media

"Des ressortissants camerounais enlevés: le gouvernement hausse le ton."
Radio Ndeke Luka, 31 March 2015. In French.

  • At least four women were kidnapped by unidentified armed men while shopping in the KM5 neighborhood of Bangui's 3rd arrondissement on 29 March. One of the women was later released on 30 March.
  • According to the woman who was released, the women were kidnapped "because among us was found the wife of an anti-balaka leader." She also reported that the women were raped by the kidnappers.
  • The police confirmed the kidnapping and said that investigations are currently underway to find the other three women. 

4. Rival ex-Seleka factions fight along CAR-DRC border
Privately-owned media

"Menace d'affrontements à la frontière Centrafrique-RDC."
APA, reprinted in Journal de Bangui, 1 April 2015. In French.

  • Residents of Béma, a town 900 km east of Bangui, fled across the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo following clashes between two rival ex-Seleka factions.
  • The two groups were reportedly fighting for control of customs and police checkpoints in the region. 

5. Leadership of anti-Balaka group splits
Government-owned media

Zamane, Naim-Kaélin. "La coordination nationale des opérations des Anti-Balaka se désengage de Patrice Édouard Ngaïssona."
Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 2 April 2015. In French.

  • In a press release issued on 28 March, several representatives of the National Organization of Anti-Balaka Operations officially removed their support from the National Coordinator, Patrice Édouard Ngaïssona, and announced that they are breaking away from the political party Central African Party for Unity and Development (PCUD).
  • Due to this split, the press release stated: "We unanimously reject the ambition of M. Édouard Patrice Ngaïssona, head of this political party, to get involved in the affairs of the anti-Balaka and moreover, to illegally assume the right to unilaterally designate a delegation to represent the anti-Balakas at the Bangui Forum."
  • The press release stated that a new party of anti-Balaka representatives to the Bangui Forum will be named by a "legitimate organization" once anti-Balaka delegates return from peace negotiations in Nairobi. 
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