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‘State of emergency’ declared in Central African Republic

A 15-DAY state of emergency has been introduced in the Central African Republic (CAR) after an armed militia tried to block the capital Bangui on Thursday.

It was believed to be an attempt to oust recently re-elected President Faustin Archange Touadera in the volatile African nation.

“The state of emergency has been proclaimed across the national territory for 15 days, starting from midnight (11pm GMT),” presidential spokesman Albert Yaloke Mokpeme said over national radio on Thursday evening.

Mr Touadera was confirmed as the winner of the December 27 poll by the country’s election authorities on Monday despite the opposition calling for a rerun, claiming insecurity and alleged irregularities had marred the process.

He secured just over 53 per cent of the controversial vote with a low turnout of 35 per cent. CAR has plunged into turmoil since the election with UN security forces repelling an attempt by armed gangs to take control of Bangui last week.

“Since that thwarted offensive, there haven’t been any other attacks, just incidents linked to the curfew,” UN spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall said.

But rebels control some two-thirds of CAR and have launched attacks on national highways in a bid to blockade the capital city and topple the government

UN envoy to CAR Mankeur Ndiaye Ndiaye warned that the country “is at serious risk of a security and peacebuilding setback.”

He told the UN security council that a substantial increase in “peacekeepers” was needed and called for 300 Rwandan troops deployed as reinforcements to be allowed to stay for an additional few months to help bring stability.

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