Former Seleka leader threatens to declare independence in north

Ex-Seleka leader Abakar Sabone threatened that Muslims in the north of CAR could secede from the rest of the country.

Former Seleka leader threatens to declare independence in north
World Bulletin / News Desk

Abakar Sabone, a former minister and leader of the Central African Republic (CAR)'s seleka fighters, threatened on Monday that Muslims in the north of CAR could secede from the rest of the country.  
 
"If peace is not restored, independence [of Muslims in the north] will be the only solution for us," Sabone told Anadolu Agency by phone.

"They [Christian authorities] do not want us. They are the majority while Muslims do not exceed 22 percent of the population," he added.

Muslims have increasingly been targeted since Bangui Mayor Catherine Samba-Panza, a Christian, was elected interim president in January.

She replaced Michel Djotodia, who had come to power in March 2013 when Seleka rebels – said to be mostly Muslim – ousted Francois Bozize, a Christian, who had come to power in a 2003 coup.

On Wednesday, no sooner had Samba-Panza left after a special ceremony to welcome back army deserters than hundreds of army personnel dragged a civilian from the crowd and lynched him on suspicions that he was a former seleka fighter.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for Human Rights Watch who was present at the scene, told AA that the soldiers "set his body on fire, while everybody around was laughing and taking photos with their mobile phones."

War

Sabone announced the formation of what he described as the "New Resistance Forces" group.

"It's a matter of right. We will fight for this independence," he said.

"The real war will begin and continue for four or five years," he threatened, citing the examples of South Sudan and Eritrea.

"The issue is about Islam," Sabone said, lamenting that Muslim countries did not help CAR Muslims.

"The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) must shoulder its responsibility and rescue Central African Muslims."

He suggested that 1.2 million Central African Muslims had fled the country.

On December 22, Sabone accused the French troops of only disarming the ex-seleka and supplying the anti-balaka with weapons they are allegedly using to kill Muslims.

He threatened a Muslim rebellion against the French and a partition of the country along religious lines.

"If the French don’t change the way they conduct their operation by respecting the agreement we shall divide this country into two, the north for Muslims and the south for Christians," he had.
Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2014, 09:30
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