Coup leaders push to restore hope in CAR

BANGUI, CAR. Central African Republic’s new rulers struggled Wednesday to restore order and get fearful residents to return to work four days after a coup, as the prime minister said he had been reappointed by the nation’s new strongman.
 Nicolas Tiangaye (C) arrives in a hotel in Bangui on. He was reappointed prime minister. Net photo
Nicolas Tiangaye (C) arrives in a hotel in Bangui on. He was reappointed prime minister. Net photo

BANGUI, CAR. Central African Republic’s new rulers struggled Wednesday to restore order and get fearful residents to return to work four days after a coup, as the prime minister said he had been reappointed by the nation’s new strongman.

Water was still cut off in Bangui after Michel Djotodia and his Seleka rebels seized the capital Sunday in a rapid-fire assault, forcing president Francois Bozize to flee.

Power had started to return to parts of the sprawling riverside capital, but after days of looting during which armed men prowled the city, residents fear to return to work despite a call by Djotodia for people to do so.

Hospitals were also struggling to get up and running with no doctors, and in some cases, still no electricity.

At Amitie Hospital in the capital, patients roamed the halls, left to their own devices.

“There is no electricity and no doctors,” said Sylvain Namboa whose wife was hit by a stray bullet.

“People haven’t returned to work and we are running in all directions to make ends meet,” said Dr Jean-Chrysostome Gody, the director of paediatrics at the general hospital.

Seleka rebels have enlisted the help of the regional FOMAC force to help patrol the streets and crack down on looting. The rebel group announced that anyone carrying a weapon had to register with the authorities.

Old PM reappointed

In a sign that rebels were seeking to maintain some stability, Nicolas Tiangaye, who was named prime minister in January under a power-sharing deal between Bozize and Seleka that ended a first rebel offensive, said he had been reappointed.

“I have been renamed prime minister, the decree has been signed,” the lawyer and respected former human rights activist told AFP.

Djotodia, an enigmatic figure who spent years in civil service and diplomacy before founding a rebel movement in 2005, had earlier said he intended to keep Tiangaye as premier.

“The context has changed but the players are the same,” Tiangaye said, adding that he would soon unveil an inclusive cabinet line-up. However, he said fresh elections would not be held for another three years and did not rule himself out of the polls.

Tiangaye, who was Seleka’s choice after the January deal, admitted that his relations with Djotodia would be far better than with Bozize.

Bozize, who had also seized power in a 2003 coup, has surfaced in Cameroon pending relocation elsewhere.

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