Potential Hot Spots: July 26, 2003


The Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC) commander urged all of the district and neighborhood leaders in the capital to help restore security, but admitted that most of those leaders had become protectors or even accomplices of armed robbers.

CEMAC can't do it themselves, since they only have 380 troops (139 from Gabon, 121 from Chad and 120 from the Congo) and yet their new mandate includes securing and defending Bangui as well as provincial towns and main transportation routes; securing the northern regions of the country; disarmament; and restructuring the national army. The massive disarmament drive lacks public support.

Two-thirds of the CEMAC detachment had patrolled the lawless north from 14-25 July, specifically deployed against AK-47 toting, horse-riding Chadian mercenaries-turned-brigands. Since then, a trickle of refugees have had the confidence to return home. - Adam Geibel 


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