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End of electoral campaigns in Central African Republic

End of electoral campaigns in Central African Republic

Central African Republic

Monday marked the end of electoral campaigns in Central African Republic.

The electoral campaigns in Central African Republic ended Monday, December 28 marked with noisy rallies.

The elections are slated to take place on Wednesday, December 30 and all the leading candidates have vowed to reunite a nation torn and terrified by unprecedented sectarian strife.

The presidential polls in the country have been postponed several times due to violence and logistical problems, the first round of the polls was again delayed by three days from Sunday, partly because of reports of clashes in regions where armed gangs still hold sway.

The violence in the mineral-rich but dirt poor country followed the ouster in March 2013 of president Francois Bozize by a mainly Islamic rebel alliance, the Seleka, which installed Michel Djotodia, the first Muslim head of state of a mostly Christian country.

Thousands were slaughtered in a spiral of atrocities that drove about one in 10 of the population of 4.8 million to flee the country.

Security Issue

CAR’s own security forces — the army, the police and the paramilitary gendarmerie — have begun to patrol areas where tension remains high between ex-Seleka and anti-balaka forces.

These national troops are also going into the flashpoint PK-5 Muslim enclave in Bangui, where Islamic extremists killed five people for wanting to vote on referendum day.

Meckassoua, a Muslim from the troubled PK-5 neighbourhood of Bangui, held a meeting before hundreds of people in a suburb under the control of the anti-balaka militia.

“I was very enthusiastic to go and meet my compatriots everywhere …. even where they are seeking refuge from the conflict,” he said of his campaign.

The country approved a new constitution this month and many hope the election will bring them a step closer to restoring stability.

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