President flees, chaos in Central African Republic

Last Updated: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 12:54

Yaounde/Bangui: Central African Republic slid into anarchy after its President Francois Bozize fled to Cameroon on Sunday as rebels in his country seized capital Bangui.

A helicopter of the presidency of the Central African Republic carrying Bozize landed at 6 pm local time at the aerodrome of Batouri, the capital of Kadey department, east of Cameroon, a source of the Cameroonian defence ministry told Xinhua.

Accompanying Bozize on board were his two sons and his aide-de-camp.

Bozize left his presidential palace at least 30 minutes before guerrillas who call themselves Seleka launched an assault on the compound, the presidency said.

Seleka, a loose rebel coalition of five factions, launched an insurgency in December 2012, accusing the government of failing to implement a series of peace accords signed in the Gabonese capital Libreville over the past five years.

Seleka launched a lightening blitz this week after giving the government a deadline to honor a peace deal signed in January to release political prisoners, integrate rebels into the national Army and pull out South African and Ugandan troops deployed in the country to protect the Bangui-based government.

Rampant looting was reported by some residents in Bangui. Homes, shops, restaurants and cars were all fair game for looters across the city of 600,000 people.

The violence and chaos in the mineral-rich African country drew attention from the world community.

Amid grave concern about a state of anarchy, France said it had sent 350 troops to its former colony, where it now has 600 military personnel.

IANS



First Published: Monday, March 25, 2013 - 12:54

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