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Armed Groups Lock Ministers Out In Bangui, CAR Over Unpaid Dues

Some ministers in the Central African Republic  were on Saturday morning locked out of their offices as aggrieved combatants of some rebel movements in the countrytook over their offices to demand for unpaid arrears.

According to Jean-Rock Soubi of the Democratic Front of the Central African People popularly known by its French abbreviation FDPC and member of the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration and Repartriation (DDRR) committee, they were demanding for the payment of their eight months dues. 

“If you see us in this ministry, it is just to demand our indemnities which total eight months. This has pushed us to barricade and to lock the main door as you can see, against the ministers,” Soubi said Saturday morning. 

“There is so much discontentment, that is why we have been obliged to demonstrate so that our rights should be respected.”

Celestin Bamare of the Mai-mai RJ Bellanga on his part siad that government has ignored their requests for the dues to be paid a number of times. 

 “We have several times demanded for our money but the government has not paid it, which is why we have decided to come out and block members of government. Today, out of the eight months owed us, they have paid two months,” Bamare said.

However, Abakar Larry Mahalba, a senior government official reassured that the situation is being normalized disclosing that the government has financial problem.

“We have cash problems and government has done what is necessary,” Mahalba said.

“It is just a delay and a question of organization, which has been solved so we are going to try to activate things because the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration and Repartriation (DDRR) is on its irreversible phase.

“The government has already done what is necessary which is what we are going to activate. I believe there is a message of appeasement and the rest would be done within the context of the republic.”

It was not clear whether the aggrieved rebel combatants would understand the rambling message from Abakar Larry Mahalba.

It should be recalled that 10 days ago, some elements of the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Reintegration and Repartriation (DDRR) integrated into the special mixed security units in Paoua and Bouarpour had to go on strike in order to be paid the arrears of their salaries.

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