UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: IRIN News Briefs, Friday 5 November
Patasse's new cabinet announced Opposition joins government Parties leave opposition coalition Congolese refugees repatriated
Patasse's new cabinet announced
Prime-Minister Anicet-Georges Dologuele last week formed a new 24-member government to serve under President Ange-Felix Patasse, news organisations and UN sources said. A statement from the UN Mission in the CAR (MINURCA), received by IRIN, said the new cabinet included members of the ruling Mouvement de liberation du peuple centrafricain (MLPC), six other parties, and representatives from civil society and the military. Dologuele, who had resigned as prime minister following Patasse's 19 September re-election, was reappointed on 26 October. He subsequently reassigned himself as economic, finance, planning and international cooperation minister.
Opposition joins government
New cabinet members include the MLPC's Jean-Jacques Demafouth as minister of defence and CAR armed forces member Denis Wangao-Kizimale as minister of justice. Other political parties represented include the Parti liberal democrate (PLD), Mouvement pour la democratie et le developpement (MDD), Rassemblement democratique centrafricain (RDC), Parti social democratique (PSD), and Parti de l'unite nationale (PUN), according to the MINURCA statement. The opposition coalition Union des forces acquises a la paix (UFAP) had declared last month that its members would not take part in Patasse's new government, saying the opposition leaders preferred to "keep their distance".
Parties leave opposition coalition
Meanwhile, two political parties have withdrawn from UFAP, news agencies said. The withdrawal of former prime minister Enoch-Derant Lakoue's PSP and veteran opposition leader Abel Goumba's Front patriotique pour le progres (FPP) means UFAP is now composed essentially of former president Andre Kolingba's RDC and a few smaller parties, Gabonese radio said on 30 October. Lakoue told the radio that his party had decided to leave the coalition because UFAP's "arrangements" were becoming "increasingly incoherent". With the end of the elections, "we deemed it advisable to turn over the page and view the future differently", Lakoue said.
Congolese refugees repatriated
UNHCR has begun to repatriate some 2,000 Congolese refugees from the capital Bangui to the DRC, a UNHCR official told IRIN on Thursday. "We sent 152 people to Kinshasa on the first flight on Tuesday, and two flights tomorrow [Friday] will bring a minimum of 300 to Kinshasa," he said. The refugees had been sheltering at the port of Bangui since they fled conflict between government forces and rebels in the DRC's Equateur province in July. "Some of them want to go to Mbandaka [in Equateur], but we will finish with the Kinshasa ones first," the official said. There are currently another 8,000 Congolese refugees elsewhere in the CAR.
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