Potential Hot Spots: April 6, 2003


The MLC (Congolese Liberation Movement) troop contingent that was in the CAR helping the former government, appears to have disintegrated. Estimates varied widely, but the MLC was loaning ex-CAR President Ange-Felix Patasses now-deposed government anywhere from 350 to 1000 troops. Most of the force was supposed to withdraw from the CAR by March 15. However, when General Francois Bozizes coup took place, part of the MLC contingent remained in Bangui, the CARs capital. The MLC force retreated, heading for the DRC border. (The MLC controls part of the DRCs Equateur province.) It seems the MLC legion didnt make it. Now reports are filtering out of MLC fighters wandering around in small bands, some of them committing vicious crimes (theft, murder, and rape). One report said that a group of MLC fighters and former members of Patasses personal guard are in the town of Bogangone.

March 28, 2003.About 100,000 people gathered in various points of the Central African Republic's capital and then marched to the Boganda stadium, all in favor of General Boziz and the new Premier, Abel Goumba. However, some regional observers consider the situation in Banqui a major worry and a violation of the democratic process, as well a challenge to the African Union. Perhaps these individuals are just irked that their own puppets didn't take over.

The same day, deposed President Patasse arrived in Lome, Toga. The town should bring back memories, since Patesse took up residence there in 1986 after being deposed and then started a successful business career. This time, Patesse struck many observers as an absent-minded man when he checked into his hotel suite with his wife, children and retinue of 25 people. Meanwhile, Chadian troops have recovered 1,300 firearms and 270 vehicles during their disarmament campaign in the Central African Republic. - Adam Geibel


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