Government of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)

10 April 2013

Central Africa: Govt Accused of Sending Arms to Seleka Rebels - Report

Allegations have surfaced this week against the government of Eritrea regarding their role in the in arming the rebels in the Central African Republic who recently overthrew Francois Bozize.

In an interview with ex-President Bozize recently ran in the media, the former CAR leader claimed that "the arms used by the Seleka rebels during their final assault on the presidential palace were purchased from Eritrea and transited through Chad with the permission of President Deby".

The Eritrean Ministry of Foreign Affairs this week issued a strong denial.

The Ministry said "the author does not provide a shred of evidence for his outlandish statement," though it notes that the article cites "Le Journal de Brazza" which similarly claimed Eritrea had "a history of arming African rebel groups, including Somalia's Al-Shabaab".

The Ministry statement said "Eritrea has neither the political will nor the material and logistical capabilities to sell/deliver arms to rebels in CAR and/or other African rebel groups".

It stresses that Eritrea does not manufacture weapons or ammunition of any kind and has not been in any position to sell and transfer arms to CAR rebels or Chad with whom it does not share contiguous territory.

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