Central African Republic: Situation still unstable in Central African Republic

Washington, DC — Two days after an armed mutiny broke out in the Central African Republic, the situation in the capital Bangui remains unstable. Although the army has regained control over most parts of the city, two strategic districts housing the port on the River Ubangui and the national radio transmitter are still reported to be in rebel hands.

At least twenty people are known to have died in Monday's coup attempt and subsequent squirmishes between the army and the mutineers.

President Félix Patassé, who branded the mutineers as traitors, said today the coup was a failure and accused the former President, André Kolingba, of masterminding it.

Kolinbga admitted involvement in the mutiny which he described as "salutory intervention". He said the rebels had asked him to take charge in order to bring back unity, peace and security.

Libyan troops and military equipment are reported to have been flown to Bangui to support forces loyal to President Patassé, an ally of Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi. Reinforcements are also said to have come from the Democratic Republic of Congo across the River Ubangui.

The central African Republic was rocked by a series of armed mutinies in the mid-1990's. President Patassé first came to power when he defeated former military ruler André Kolingba at the polls in 1993. He was reelected in 1999 on promises of economic revival but the country continues to face economic hardship.

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