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May 4-10, 2015

Weekly Media Monitoring report for the Central African Republic
Posted on May 20, 2015
1. Bangui Forum delegates recommend delaying elections, prolonging transition
Government-owned media

Ngalangou, Vivien. “La commission Gouvernance suggère le report des élections et le prolongement de la transition.”
Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 9 May 2015. In French.

  • According to delegates at the Bangui Forum, the two main points that have been discussed at the Forum are the postponement of elections and prolonging the mandate of the transitional government.
  • This information was given at a press conference held on 8 May by the Forum’s working committee on good governance.
Privately-owned media

Mamadou, Alain Patrick. “La plénière du Forum national de Bangui adopte la prolongation de la transition et le maintien de ses institutions.”
ACAP, 9 May 2015. In French.

  • The plenary session of the Bangui Forum officially adopted the three suggestions of the Forum’s governance commission. The three propositions are: redefining the electoral calendar, prolonging the period of transition, and maintaining the institutions of the transition.
  • According to a report from the National Electoral Authority, it is impossible to hold elections in August 2015, as was originally planned, due to “material, security, climatic, and financial” reasons.
  • The delegates voted to keep the current transitional head of state, the president of the National Transitional Council, and the prime minister in their positions in order to support “institutional stability”. 

“Forum national: entre report des élections et reconduction consensuelle des dirigeants de la transition.”
Radio Ndeke Luka, 10 May 2015. In French.

  • As the Bangui Forum comes to a close, the various working groups and committees are beginning to publicize the topics of discussion during the Forum. These included the secularism of the state, the enlargement of the National Transitional Council, and the creation of a ban on armed groups transforming into political parties, among others. 
  • The three main proposals formulated by participants were: the postponement of elections, prolonging the mandate of the transitional government, and maintaining the current transitional authorities.
  • On the subject of elections, the forum participants agreed that the electoral calendar should be reconfigured, but said that the delay should not extend beyond 2015. 
2. Armed groups agree to release child soldiers
Government-owned media

“Accord sur la liberation des enfants-soldats en Centrafrique.”
Centrafrique Presse Info (CPI), 5 May 2015. In French.

  • In an accord negotiated by UNICEF at the Bangui Forum, eight leaders of the principal armed groups in CAR agreed to demobilize the child soldiers in their groups. An estimated 6,000-10,000 children will be affected by the agreement.
  • The article notes that it will be difficult to identify and contact all the child soldiers in the country, due to the country’s size and lack of infrastructure. No date was given for the demobilization.
  • A spokesman for UNICEF said that the children will go through a program of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and will receive medical and psychological aid.
  • The spokesman also said that no amnesty was promised in return for the demobilization, but that armed groups would be taken off the United Nations’ list of armed groups using minors in combat once the demobilization is complete. 
Privately-owned media

“Central African Republic: Armed Groups Agree to Release Child Soldiers, Says Unicef.”
UN News Service, via AllAfrica, 5 May 2015. In English.

  • According to UNICEF, armed groups in CAR have agreed to release up to 10,000 child soldiers that are currently enrolled in armed groups. The groups also agreed to stop future enrollment and grant UNICEF access to their zones of control without restriction.
  • The agreement was completed during Bangui Forum, although the negotiations began several weeks prior, during preliminary discussions with the transitional government. 
3. Four arrested in Bangui for possession of weapons

Privately-owned media

“Interpellation à Bangui de quatre personnes en possession d’armes de guerre.”
APA, via AfricaTime, 9 May 2015. In French.

  • The state’s prosecutor, Ghislain Gresenguet, announced the arrest of four people in the KM5 neighborhood of Bangui’s 3rd arrondissement for the possession of combat weapons. According the Gresenguet, the arsenal included rocket launchers, kalachnikovs, and other heavy weapons and munitions.
  • Gresenguet said that the occasion of the Bangui Forum should not cause people to lose sight of the fact that insecurity remains and that “the authors of criminal acts must face justice to account for their actions.” 
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