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

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.