1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Central African Republic

Bozize appoints prime minister

The new leader of the Central African Republic (CAR), Francois Bozize, has appointed Abel Goumba as prime minister of a transitional government.

Goumba, 76, who is one of the founding fathers of the CAR in the 1950s, said it would take him at least a week to form his government.

"I cannot form a government without first having consultations with all the political forces, all the stakeholders, and the diaspora," he told IRIN on Sunday, just hours after his appointment.

He said the Concertation des partis politiques d'opposition, an alliance of 12 opposition parties, should perform an important role in the new administration.

Bozize, who seized power in a coup on 15 March, immediately engaged in intense consultations with political actors inside the country, including ousted President Ange-Felix Patasse's Mouvement de liberation du peuple centrafricain (MLPC). He enacted a transitional constitution, which does not set a time-frame for the transition.

A leading MLPC figure and former interior minister, Jacquesson Mazette, said on Saturday that his party's executive board would meet to decide whether it would be in the opposition or join the new government.

Meanwhile, hundreds of soldiers registered over the weekend to resume service on Monday, after a week of uncertainty. At least 1,000 soldiers - some in uniform, others in civilian clothes - registered on Saturday at one centre, the Ecole superieure d'administration et de magistrature.

At the same time, the military authorities organised door-to-door searches in Bangui's various suburbs for goods stolen during the massive looting that engulfed the capital in the aftermath of the coup. Soldiers, policemen and peacekeepers of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC)loaded trucks with recovered property for return to its owners. A similar operation to recover and return stolen vehicles has been ongoing since Thursday, led by the 100 Chadian soldiers reinforcing the 303-strong CEMAC force.

Life in the capital began returning to normal on Monday, with the reopening of shops and markets. Small numbers of cars appeared on the streets after the reopening of two petrol stations, selling rations of up to 10 litres to each vehicle.

Bozize conducted a number of meet-the-people tours in different parts of the city over the weekend, seeking to reassure local residents, business people and traders, and members of various religious denominations.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.

We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant. 

But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced. 

You can support our journalism from just $5 a month, and every contribution will go towards our mission. 

Support The New Humanitarian today.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.