13 South African Troops Killed in Central African Republic Takeover

African Union Suspends CAR, Seizes Rebel Assets

by Jason Ditz, March 25, 2013

The African Union has announced the immediate suspension of the Central African Republic (CAR), and a round of asset seizures against the leaders of the rebel movement that conquered the capital city over the weekend.

More details have emerged of the CAR takeover, with South African President Jacob Zuma revealing that South African troops tried to help keep the rebels out of the capital. 13 South African troops were slain in a nine-hour gunbattle before the Seleka rebels took the capital.

But they did take the capital, and what happens next is a big question, with Michel Djotodia declaring himself the de facto head of state, and other rebel groups insisting he was not.

Djotodia and other rebels seem to be in agreement on naming a “power-sharing” government, including both rebels and the parliament of ousted ruler Francois BozizĂ©, who has reportedly turned up in Cameroon. Opposition leader Nicolas Tiangaye, who was named prime minister in January as part of the last deal, is going to retain his post, though the cabinet is said to be undergoing a major change.

With Bozizé gone, Seleka officials say they believe the caretaker government will see a 2-3 year transition period, centered around the agreement reached in January, leading to free elections at the end.

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