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Central African Republic News Alert

CAR: Political demonstration in Bangui October 23

Hundreds of people rally in Bangui in support of National Assembly Speaker Karim Meckassoua on October 23; further demonstrations likely

23 Oct 04:22 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 10/23/2018, 12:00 AM until 10/28/2018, 11:59 PM (Africa/Bangui). COUNTRY/REGION Bangui

Event

Around 400 people marched in support of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Karim Meckassoua, in Bangui on the morning (local time) of Tuesday, October 23. The demonstrators gathered in the PK5 neighborhood before walking to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) headquarters in the city. Meckassoua’s supporters are calling for him to remain as the Speaker of the National Assembly. A vote to remove him from his post is expected to take place on Friday, October 26. Further demonstrations by Meckassoua’s supporters are possible in the coming days and after the vote.

Context

On October 17, 95 deputies out of 140 in the National Assembly signed a petition demanding the dismissal of Meckassoua. Under parliamentary procedure, a vote must be held after the petition has been submitted and at least two thirds of deputies need to approve removing the Speaker from office. Meckassoua represents the third district of Bangui, which includes the Muslim-majority PK5 neighborhood. According to Meckassoua, the efforts to remove him from his position are an attempt by rival politicians to destabilize the National Assembly.

Numerous Western governments have issued updated travel warnings in recent months due to the current worsening security situation. On April 10, France issued a warning advising its citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to the country. Also on April 10, the US issued a security alert urging their citizens to avoid the capital Bangui's PK5 neighborhood and 7th arrondissement. On April 12, the UK began advising against nonessential travel to central Bangui and against all travel to the rest of the country.

Advice

Individuals present in CAR, particularly Bangui, are advised to monitor local developments, maintain a high degree of situational awareness, and avoid all demonstrations as a precaution.

In general, a number of Western governments advise their citizens against travel to most of the east of the country for various security reasons, including the presence of armed groups.

 

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