Wednesday 23 August 2017

Violence Shakes CAR Vote on New Constitution

Tue, 12/15/2015 - 11:06 -- Henri Ahyite

At least six people were wounded Sunday in fighting and gunfire in Bangui as voters in the Central African Republic cast ballots in a referendum on a new constitution intended to stop more than three years of violence.

A journalist with the French News Agency reports seeing two dead bodies and a dozen others in a mosque. But there has been no official word on election-related casualties.

Muslim and Christian militia members, who have been responsible for the violence, have threatened to stop the vote. But the United Nations representative in Bangui, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, said he was proud of the courage of voters who he said "braved every fear and threat."

"Central Africans have marked a historic day in the march to democracy in their country," he said Sunday.

If passed, the new constitution would limit the president to two five-year terms, cut the power of the military and ensure religious freedom.