Joseph Yakete
Joseph Yakete

Central African Republic defense minister sacked amid growing violence

BANGUI   – Central African Republic president Faustin-Archange Touadera sacked his defense minister on Tuesday evening, according to a state radio broadcast, amid growing violence that threatens to spin the country out of control.

The dismissal of Joseph Yakete was part of a wider Cabinet reshuffle. The statement did not say if his dismissal was related directly to growing violence.

Thousands have died and a fifth of Central Africans have fled a conflict that broke out after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias.

Although unrest has since subsided, fighting has spiked this year and the United Nations warned this month that ethnic fighting could descend again into a much larger conflict if combatants are not disarmed.

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National security forces are too weak to tackle armed groups and counter the spillover from conflicts in neighboring countries, said the United Nations.

In a sign of the deteriorating security situation, six Red Cross volunteers were killed in an attack on a health center in southeastern Central African Republic on Aug. 3, the aid organisation said last month.(Reuters)

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