Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadera on Monday urged people to defy threats and vote in presidential and parliamentary polls on December 27, as news of a rebel advance on Bangui appeared to dampen confidence and spread fear ahead of the vote.
Touadera was closely guarded by UN peacekeepers and other soldiers as he waved to supporters in the capital city.
"What we deplore and condemn is that, instead of entering into the process so that we can have peace, now that we have recovered constitutional order, we must recover that order for democracy in the country. Unfortunately, some people are engaged in paths of violence, which the people condemn and which we also condemn", Touadera who is seeking re-election said.
Former leader Francois Bozize whose presidential bid was rejected by court citing UN sanctions, has been accused of backing a rebel movement keen on overthrowing the government.
Slight lull in Yaloke after #MINUSCA peacekeepers intervened in support of the FACA following an attack by armed groups. Here, peacekeepers from the Bangladeshi contingent during a security patrol on 20/12 near a local school. #CARPeace https://t.co/S2FlTwlwBy— MINUSCA (@UN_CAR) December 21, 2020
Touadera's weak government which rules from Bangui is only able to exert control in certain areas. Elsewhere, militias and armed groups are in charge.
The UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MINUSCA) has reported responding to attacks by armed groups in different areas in recent days.
#Centrafrique ??: La force népalaise??de réaction rapide (QRF), basée à Bocaranga (nord-ouest), simulant la réponse à l’attaque d’une base et d’une patrouille, le 20/12/20. Chaque bataillon #MINUSCA dispose de telles unités pouvant intervenir sur tout le territoire. #A4P pic.twitter.com/ENqSUO2U9r— MINUSCA (@UN_CAR) December 21, 2020