CAR: New president vows to uphold peace, disarm rebels

Faustin-Archange Touadera, Central African Republic’s newly elected president will dedicate his term to uphold peace and disarm armed rebel groups in the country, campaign director told reporters on Monday.

Former Prime Minister Touadera, 58, won 62.71 percent of the vote on February 14, defeating another ex-premier, Anicet Georges Dologuele, who polled 37.29 percent, according to initial results announced by the National Elections Authority (ANE).

The pair faced off after neither won an absolute majority in the first round of polling held in December 2015.

December’s vote was seen as a landmark for CAR, which has been beset by sectarian violence since March 2013, when former President Francois Bozize was overthrown by a mainly Muslim rebel alliance known as the Seleka.

“The priority will be peace, social cohesion and security,” Touadera’s campaign director Simplice Sarandji told reporters.

“The emphasis will be put on the DDRR program (disarmament, demobilization, reintegration and repatriation) then on the restructuring of the armed forces.”

According to Sarandji, the president will also focus on disarming the Seleka and anti-Balaka fighters with help from the international community.

If deemed suitable, some rebels will be able to join the army, Sarandji said.

“Those who wish to engage in other activities can do so with government support, of course,” he said.

CAR is the world’s third-poorest country by GDP and was ranked 187th out of 188 countries in the UN 2015 Human Development Index, ahead only of Niger in terms of living standards.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 4341 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network