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Vol 42 No 3

Published 9th February 2001

Central African Republic

Saved by the cash

A quick subsidy helps the Patassé government out of a crisis

The United Nations Security Council on 23 January expressed its 'grave preoccupation' with the situation in the Central African Republic - less than a year after it had withdrawn its Mission des Nations Unies en République Centrafricaine (Minurca) observer mission there (AC Vol 41 No 1). Minurca was then hailed as a rare success for UN military intervention in Africa. It had restored civilian rule under elected President Ange-Félix Patassé, following army mutinies in 1996 and 1997. Many public-sector workers were owed arrears of up to two years' salary, though. By late January, the resulting unrest led UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to describe the situation as 'explosive', urging Patassé's government to engage in constructive dialogue with the opposition.

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