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Around 50 killed in Central African Republic boat capsize

Around 50 killed in Central African Republic boat capsize

AROUND 50 people on their way to a village funeral died after their riverboat capsized in the Central African Republic's capital Bangui on Friday, an official said. "We were alerted 40 minutes after the incident and rescuers were able to extract around 50 lifeless bodies," civil protection department head Thomas Djimasse told Reuters. He added, in a telephone interview, that the search was continuing with more people possibly drowned in the Mpoko River. Government spokesperson Maxime Balalou gave a death toll of over 30 and called for better compliance with river transport safety regulations.
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Rebels attack Central African Republic’s capital

Rebels attack Central African Republic’s capital

SECURITY forces in Central African Republic have repelled an attack by armed groups seeking to seize the capital Bangui, Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada said. The assault represents a marked escalation in fighting with rebel groups that erupted around a disputed December 27 election. The groups attacked towns close to Bangui last month but did not reach the capital as intended. A Reuters witness in Bangui heard explosions and later saw helicopters circling over the city. "The attackers who came in large numbers to take Bangui have been vigorously pushed back," Ngrebada said in a post on Facebook, urging citizens to…
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CAR coup ‘adventure has no future’

CAR coup ‘adventure has no future’

A top French general in West Africa has dismissed calls for his country to engage more in Central African Republic (CAR) after rebels earlier this week attempted to take the capital Bangui, saying that the situation was different to a rebellion in 2013. The Central African army has been battling groups backed by former president Francois Bozize that are seeking to overturn a December 27 vote in which President Faustin-Archange Touadera was declared victor despite fraud claims. Russia and Rwanda have sent troops to back the government. A separate U.N. peacekeeping mission also operates in the country, but France, which…
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Fearing violence, shops shut, people hunker down before Central African vote

Fearing violence, shops shut, people hunker down before Central African vote

ANTOINE ROLLAND PANIC has gripped the streets of Central African Republic's capital Bangui with businesses closing and people holing up in their homes as the country braced for a general election that has stoked the embers of violence. Rwanda and Russia have sent military aid to help the government restore calm as security forces and United Nations peacekeepers battle rebels who have occupied towns and roads outside the capital. Russia, seeking to increase its influence in Africa, is an ally of President Faustin-Archange Touadera, a relationship often seen as a threat to the influence of former colonial power France in…
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Pandemic pushes more child vendors onto Central African Republic’s streets

Pandemic pushes more child vendors onto Central African Republic’s streets

INES KPAKOLE ABDIAS is not afraid of contracting coronavirus when he leaves home each day with a basket of hard-boiled eggs to sell on the busy streets of Bangui, the Central African Republic's capital. But the 11-year-old street vendor does fear the punishment he will endure if he fails to earn enough money for his family. "My mother beats me and blames it on me," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation one afternoon while selling his wares under the scorching sun with little to eat or drink. Abdias left school last year as his mother could not afford the fees,…
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