Anti-Balaka wants access to CAR's corridors of power

Gilbert Kamezou Lai, a senior commander of the Christian militia formed to counter the Muslim seleka rebel group, told Anadolu Agency that he had submitted a document to acting Public Safety Minister Colonel Wangao Kizimale summarizing the anti-balaka's demands.

Anti-Balaka wants access to CAR's corridors of power

World Bulletin / News Desk

A senior anti-balaka militia leader in the Central African Republic says his group is now seeking top-level government posts as part of any agreement to end sectarian conflict in the war-torn country.

Gilbert Kamezou Lai, a senior commander of the Christian militia formed to counter the Muslim seleka rebel group, told Anadolu Agency that he had submitted a document to acting Public Safety Minister Colonel Wangao Kizimale summarizing the anti-balaka's demands.

Among these demands is "facilitating the access of anti-balaka members to positions of responsibility in the state," according to Kamezou Lai. "Any kind of pressure practiced by the government in this regard will have no result," he said.

Kamezou Lai was appointed earlier this month as deputy commander of the Military Training Center and the National Civic Service in Bouar, a town about 400km northwest of capital Bangui.

But he said he would be "more useful in Bangui," where he could help restrain angry anti-balaka militiamen.

The Central African Republic descended into anarchy one year ago when seleka rebels removed Francois Bozize, a Christian who had come to power in a 2003 coup. The rebels later installed Michel Djotodia, a Muslim, as interim president.

Since then, the country has been plagued by tit-for-tat sectarian violence between Christian anti-balaka militias and Muslim former seleka fighters.

Anti-Muslim violence has escalated since Catherine Samba-Panza, a Christian, was elected interim president in January.

Christians, who account for the majority of the country's population, accuse Muslims of supporting former seleka rebels blamed for attacking Christian homes, looting property and carrying out summary executions.

Last Mod: 26 Mart 2014, 13:42
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