CAR rebel Chief to name power-sharing govt.
Seleka rebel chief pledges to name power-sharing government following the death of 13 SA soldiers.
BANGUI - The leader of rebels in Central African Republic pledged to name a power-sharing government in a bid to defuse international criticism of a coup that killed 13 South African soldiers and has plunged the mineral-rich nation into chaos.
Regional peacekeepers said that leader of the Seleka rebel coalition, self-proclaimed president Michel Djotodia, appealed for their help in restoring order after his own men joined in a second day of looting on Monday in the riverside capital Bangui.
The rebels' ousting of President Francois Bozize on Sunday was condemned by the United Nations and African Union. But in a sign of pragmatism, the United States, France and regional powerbroker Chad called on the insurgents to respect a January peace deal creating a unity government.
Some 5,000 Seleka fighters swept into the capital on Sunday after a lightning offensive in which they fought their way from the far north to the presidential palace in four days after the collapse of the power-sharing deal, the Libreville Accord.
Neighbouring Cameroon confirmed on Monday that Bozize had arrived there but said it was not giving him permanent refuge.
The removal of Bozize, who had himself seized power in a coup backed by Chad in 2003, was just the latest of many rebellions since the poor, landlocked country won independence from France in 1960.
"We will lead the people of Central African Republic during a three-year transition period, in accordance with the Libreville Accord," Djotodia said in a recorded statement issued to reporters. It was not broadcast due to power cuts.
January's peace deal signed at Libreville, the capital of Gabon, was drafted by regional mediators after the rebels had besieged Bangui in December. The accord had created a government drawn from Bozize loyalists, rebels and the civilian opposition.
Djotodia said that civilian opposition representative Nicolas Tiangaye would remain in place as prime minister.
The UN Security Council on Monday called for all parties to refrain from violence against civilians, the restoration of the rule of law, constitutional order and the implementation of the Libreville deal. The council said it would monitor the situation and was ready to consider further steps if necessary.
In Bangui, 600,000 residents of the capital remained without power and running water for a third day. Despite a curfew, there was widespread pillaging of offices, public buildings and businesses by rebels and civilians.
"Public order is the biggest problem right now," said General Jean Felix Akaga, commander of the regional African peacekeeping force. "Seleka's leaders are struggling to control their men. The president has asked us to help restore calm."
He said rebels would be confined to barracks from Monday.
International aid group Doctors Without Borders said its offices in Bangui and elsewhere in the country had been looted, and urged all sides to ensure people had access to health care.