Potential Hot Spots: November 28, 2002


The situation in the Central African Republic is on the verge of disintegrating. News agencies reported that over the past few weeks, vast northern areas along the border with Chad were under rebel control (including the city of Kabo (500 kilometers north of the capital). It is unclear whether the rebels (loyal to former chief of staff Franois Boziz) also control nearby Batangafo. 

After Bossangoa (around 300 kilometers north of the capital) fell to rebel forces on the night of 25 November, Central African President Ange Felix Patass told the press that there was also fighting at Bossembl (around 160 kilometers northwest of Bangui), along the main road to Cameroon. Government troops, supported by air strikes, were also fighting at Bossagoa (310 kilometers from the capital). 

President Patasse did not say whether other northwestern towns were under government control, nor whether the main road to Cameroon via Bossembele was still open to traffic. If the road were closed then the capital Bangui, which depends heavily on exports, would rapidly run out of goods imported through Cameroon's port of Douala. - Adam Geibel


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