CAR government resigns amid strike

PM steps down as standoff continues with civil servants demanding salary arrears.

    A meeting between Bozize and union leaders on Thursday failed to reach a settlement [AP]

    Bozize was expected to name a new prime minister in the coming days to form a new administration.

    The poor former French colony has experienced several coups and attempted coups in the past decade.

    Western diplomats in Bangui said the strike, coupled with the government's resignation, could trigger a deeper political crisis.

    Work stoppage

    The Central African Republic's main trade unions launched a general strike on January 2 to demand that the government pay seven months of arrears in salaries to civil servants and teachers.

    The stoppage has provoked demonstrations in the streets of the capital, Bangui, by students angry about not being able to attend classes.

    The government says it does not have the funds to pay the salary arrears, and a meeting between Bozize and union leaders on Thursday failed to reach a settlement.

    Bozize seized power in 2003 but then won elections two years later with support from the unions now staging the stoppage.

    The Central African Republic is already facing a humanitarian emergency in its northwest and northeast, where raids by several armed groups and counter-attacks by government soldiers have driven nearly 300,000 people from their homes since 2006.

    EU peacekeepers are due to arrive in the country in February.

    T

    he peacekeepers, to be deployed into the country's northeast, are part of a larger EU force that has a UN mandate to protect civilians in eastern Chad from violence spilling over from Sudan's Darfur region.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.