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Strife-weary C.Africans nostalgic for bloody 'emperor'

In the nightmare of the strife-torn Central African Republic, many citizens have begun to long for the "good old days" of Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the emperor who became infamous for his brutality yet worked economic wonders in their eyes. Some residents of the capital Bangui are openly nostalgic for the Bokassa era, which lasted from his military coup in 1966 until his overthrow in 1979, two years after a hugely extravagant coronation when the former soldier proclaimed himself emperor.

U.N. council OKs U.N. peacekeepers for Central African Republic

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved on Thursday the creation of a U.N. peacekeeping force in the Central African Republic to try to stop violence between Christians and Muslims that has threatened to spiral into genocide. The 15-member council authorized a U.N. force, to be known as MINUSCA, of up to 10,000 troops, 1,800 police and 20 corrections officers. It also authorizes French troops in the landlocked former French colony to support U.N. peacekeepers.

Ban in C. Africa to signal resolve on UN force

Ban Ki-moon arrived in Bangui on Saturday as the United Nations signals its determination to deploy peacekeepers in the strife-torn Central African Republic. The UN secretary general will meet transitional president Catherine Samba Panza to discuss ways to end the deadly cycle of intercommunal violence that has laid waste to the country for a year and led senior UN figures to raise the spectre of genocide.

U.N. aims to evacuate 19,000 Muslims under threat in Central African Republic

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Tuesday it was trying to evacuate 19,000 Muslims urgently from Bangui and other parts of Central African Republic who are surrounded by anti-balaka Christian militia threatening their lives. Anti-balaka forces control major routes to and from Bangui as well as many towns and villages in the southwest, the U.N. refugee agency said. The militia has become more militarised as it steps up attacks on Muslims and African Union peacekeepers.

U.N. chief warns against aiding Central African Republic militias

By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Monday against any support or facilitation of violence by armed groups in Central African Republic after Chadian troops were accused of opening fire on civilians and killing at least 10 people at the weekend.

AU brands Central African Republic militia 'terrorists' after peacekeeper killed

BANGUI (Reuters) - The African Union on Tuesday branded militia targeting Muslims in Central African Republic as "terrorists" and said they would be treated as enemy combatants, a day after a Congolese peacekeeper was killed. The statement suggested deepening international frustration at continuing violence in the impoverished and landlocked country despite the deployment of 2,000 French soldiers and a 6,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission.

C.African religious leaders ask for UN peacekeepers

Christian and Muslim leaders from conflict-torn Central African Republic said Monday they have appealed to UN chief Ban Ki-moon to rapidly deploy peacekeepers to stop the country's "descent into hell". A multi-faith delegation, made up of an archbishop, an imam and the head of the country's Protestant community, made the plea during a 10-day visit to Washington and New York, where they also sought help from the United States to end months of Christian-Muslim violence.

France bemoans troop shortage for EU force in C.Africa

The French commander of a European Union peacekeeping force which had been due to deploy in the Central African Republic this week said Wednesday he did not have enough soldiers. "The deployment hinges on the creation of a logistical unit of around 100 forces," General Philippe Ponties told French radio RFI, describing the shortage of volunteers as "worrying". Former colonial power France sent troops to Bangui in December in a bid to stem a cycle of ethnic and religious killing the world feared could evolve into genocide.

UN chief wants more troops to end C. Africa bloodshed

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Thursday for the urgent deployment of at least 3,000 extra troops to the Central African Republic to protect civilians against the country's spiraling violence. Speaking before the UN Security Council, Ban appealed for more military forces to be sent "in the coming days or weeks" and asked that they be equipped "with air mobility."

US urges C. Africa to end 'cycle of violence' after lynching

The United States on Wednesday called for an end to the "cycle of violence" in the Central African Republic after soldiers publicly lynched a suspected ex-rebel following a military ceremony. The gruesome attack, widely captured on camera, happened mere moments after new interim president Catherine Samba Panza spoke of her pride in seeing the country's armed forces contribute to national security again. The United States urged the nation to "break the cycle of violence" and halt revenge attacks, voicing concern about ongoing clashes between Muslims and Christians.
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