[QODLink]
Africa

Coup leader sworn in as CAR president

Michel Djotodia sworn in as president, five months after seizing power in Central African Republic.

Last Modified: 19 Aug 2013 04:13
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Michel Djotodia 's inauguration was called illegitimate by his opponents [Reuters]

Former rebel leader Michel Djotodia has beem sworn in as president of the Central African Republic, five months after seizing power in the violence-wracked country.

Djotodia swore the oath of office on the Transition Charter, which has substituted for the constitution since the removal of President Francois Bozize, who himself had come to power on the back of a military coup in 2003.

A group of Bozize supporters calling themselves the Front for the Return of Constitutional Order in Central Africa dismissed the inauguration as a masquerade.

"This swearing in is illegitimate because Mr Djotodia owes his position only to the force of Kalashnikovs and foreign mercenaries," they said in a statement.

Djotodia vowed to combat insecurity in an address marking the nation's 53rd anniversary of independence from France last Tuesday.

Torture, rape, killings

But a UN report listed "arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks, committed by uncontrolled Seleka elements and unidentified armed groups throughout the country."

For months, aid groups have warned about the dire humanitarian situation in the country of 4.6 million. In remarks before the United Nations Security Council last week, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said the country
risked becoming a failed state if swift action was not taken to restore security.

Fighters from Djotodia's Seleka armed group have been blamed for persistent violence. Human Rights Watch said in a statement on Friday that it was imperative that Djotodia "act fast to control his men,'' noting that the organisation "continues to receive credible reports of killings in the provinces.'"

Violence since the March coup has forced tens of thousands from their homes. 

The UN said more than 60,000 Central Africans had fled their country and 200,000 have been internally displaced since the crisis erupted in December 2012.

299

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.