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Vol 51 No 25

Published 17th December 2010

Central African Republic

Amid the chaos, a sort of vote

Rebels, dissidents and their allies from across the region could turn the coming elections into a protracted battle for power

Seven months late, national elections are due on 23 January, amid accusations of cheating and fraud, and with insecurity bringing hunger to more than half the country. The capital, Bangui, is already hung with images of President François Bozizé Yangouvonda and his slogan: ‘Bozizé accelerates. Central Africa is on the road’. Since his election in 2005, that road has led to little more than a hotel, which a Chinese company is building, on the way to the airport. The terrible state of Bangui’s roads and the rusting roofs of the villas on the Avenue des Martyrs show how badly ‘Bangui la coquette’ (seductive Bangui) needs a facelift.

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