A Muslim rebel leader in Central African Republic has declared an autonomous state in his stronghold and said he will seek independence, leading the country’s transitional government to call for international action against him.
Noureddine Adam, head of the Seleka rebels’ FPRC faction, made the proclamation from his headquarters in the town of Kaga-Bandoro on Monday after rejecting a national election due this month that is aimed at ending years of bloodshed.
It followed a referendum on Sunday on a new constitution, a requirement for the election. Polling was marred by violence between rival factions but a government minister said on Tuesday it appeared that voters had approved the proposed reforms.
Adam had called for the referendum and election to be cancelled and campaigners, including Human Rights Watch, accused him of using intimidation to block voting in areas under his control.
His chief lieutenant, Maouloud Moussa, said he had declared the Republic of Logone in his stronghold in the northeast.
“What we want first of all is autonomy. Then we’ll look at how to move towards independence,” Adam said. “Muslims are marginalised. The north has been abandoned by the central government.” Read more