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Vol 42 No 12

Published 15th June 2001

Central African Republic

Plot and panic

The rebels are beaten but the peace is precarious

The rebels have been put to flight. Political support has come from France and from several African governments. The elected President, Ange-Félix Patassé, seems more secure than ever after the attack on his home in Bangui on the night of 27-28 May. Patassé and French officials insist the plot was masterminded by André Kolingba, an ex-general and Patassé's unelected predecessor, who now leads the largest opposition party. He is now now on the run, perhaps along the Oubangui River or across the frontier in Congo-Kinshasa, defeated militarily and discredited politically. Even the human rights activists who often criticise Patassé accept that Kolingba was chiefly responsible for the violence that killed more than 50 people, and probably several hundred, in the past weeks.

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