3 March 2014

Central African Republic: President Samba-Panza Assesses Her Tenure

She says there have been considerable improvements in security in her first month in power. The Central African Republic, CAR's recently elected Transitional President, Catherine Samba-Panza, has awarded herself a pass mark after one month in office. Talking to the media over the weekend, President Samba-Panza said the situation in the country has considerably improved since she was sworn in on January 24, 2014.

Her predecessor, Michel Djotodia, was forced to resign by sub-regional leaders for alleged lack of progress in the transition programme. She told TV 5 and Radio France Internationale, RFI that earlier fears that the country was going to be embroiled in a civil war have since disappeared because of improved security.

She however acknowledged that the security situation in the capital, Bangui, still left much to be desired, adding that things could not be expected to change overnight in a city that has known continuous violence for one and half years. Samba-Panza warned of difficulties in concluding the transition by February 2015, noting that much had to be done to restore State authority all over the country in order to ensure credible elections.

The new Head of State again called for the deployment of 10,000 UN peacekeepers, explaining that the 2,000 French 'Opération Sangaris' troops and 5,700-strong African Union-led MISCA force were insufficient to bring the situation under control.

Meanwhile, the CAR leader is in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC for the two-day Second World Forum of Francophone Women that began yesterday, March 3, 2014 on the theme, "Woman as actor of development." She is using the occasion to present the situation of women folk in her crisis-torn country, the Pan-African News Agency reported.

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