UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Friday for all sides to “urgently cease hostile actions” in the Central African Republic, where peacekeepers were deployed to prevent armed groups from disrupting upcoming elections.
“He condemns the escalating violence and calls on all actors to urgently cease hostile actions and work towards ensuring conditions conducive to the holding of credible, inclusive and peaceful elections on 27 December,” Guterres‘ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
Three major armed groups — who occupy two-thirds of the Central African Republic — have threatened President Faustin Archange Touadera, accusing him of planning electoral fraud to secure a second term.
According to humanitarian and UN sources, armed groups have seized main roads leading to the capital Bangui, which is now threatened by a blockade.
Guterres called on all parties to “resolve their differences peacefully… in the interest of the Central African people who have for too long suffered from violence and instability.”
Tensions are high in the country, with the government on Wednesday accusing former president Francois Bozize of a “plan to destabilize the country,” while the opposition says it fears massive fraud in the presidential and legislative vote.