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Vol 37 No 24

Published 29th November 1996

Central African Republic

Echoes of Zaïre

Bangui's latest mutiny sends a worrying message to its southern neighbour

Bearing little comfort from his Paris trip, President Ange-Félix Patassé flew home on 25 November to an army mutiny in its eleventh day, with French troops holding a fragile peace in his capital. As Africa Confidential went to press, negotiations were under way but, though hostages had all been released, no one was expecting instant solutions. Premier Jean-Paul Ngoupandé, who is at loggerheads with Patassé, warned of 'the strength and seriousness of ethnic tensions in the country'. He rejected the mutineers' latest demand – the President's dismissal – and called the mutiny a 'coup attempt'.

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