The situation in the Central African Republic, CAR remains tense after Séléka rebels on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 vowed to resume fighting after government allegedly failed to fully implement the terms of a peace agreement signed earlier this year in Libreville, Gabon. Rebels earlier this week detained five of their own cabinet ministers during their visit to the Séléka base in the northern town of Sibut, issuing a three-day ultimatum to government to implement all aspects of the peace deal.
AFP news agency quoted a rebel commander, Col. Djouma Narkoyo as saying President François Bozizé's two decrees signed late Wednesday came too late. The decrees lifted the curfew, removed checkpoints across the capital, Bangui and released all political and war prisoners. Col. Narkoyo described the measures as insufficient, saying the question of integration of rebels into the army and the departure of Ugandan and South African troops from the country remained unresolved.
Explaining that Séléka was studying its strategy, the rebel commander suggested that President Bozizé could be given another chance if he met their demands and also showed interest in returning peace to the country. Another Séléka commander, Col. Oumar Bordas, accused the President of being responsible for the insecurity and problems plaguing the country, Radio France Internationale, RFI reported. He said his men were battle-ready and would soon launch their assault against the government. Col. Bordas said it served no purpose remaining in the government of national unity where they were not allowed to work freely.
Reports say following the expiration on Wednesday evening of the ultimatum by the rebels to the Head of State to implement sticking points in the deal, the situation in Bangui has been tense. Residents fear the resumption of fighting, with rebels situated only 160 km away in the town of Sibut. Meanwhile, opposition parties and civil society organizations have appealed to both sides to let peace reign, warning that the country was in grave danger. The UN Security Council in an emergency session on March 20, 2013, condemned the threats of Séléka to resume fighting, also blaming President François Bozizé for failing to respect the terms of the peace deal.