2 January 2013

South Africa: Zuma Concerned About CAR

Photo: IRIN
South African soldiers

Johannesburg — President Jacob Zuma has sent a minister to asses the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), the international relations and co-operation department said on Wednesday.

"President Zuma deployed Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to go and assess the situation on December 31," spokesman Clayson Monyela said in a statement.

The move was part of South Africa's contribution to efforts to bring about peace and stability in the CAR.

"South Africa condemns the continued attacks on several towns perpetrated by the coalition of armed groups, which undermine the Libreville comprehensive peace agreement and threaten the civilian population, as well as the stability of the Central African Republic."

He said South Africa demanded the armed groups immediately cease hostilities, stop advancing on Bangui, and withdraw from captured cities.

"We call on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians and to respect human rights."

South Africa called for constructive political dialogue and welcomed CAR President Francois Bozize's intention to achieve a negotiated solution, Monyela added.

South Africa supported efforts by the Economic Community of the Central African States to solve the crisis. South Africa would support sanctions and other measures against perpetrators of any unconstitutional change of government.

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