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Washington - The United States on Tuesday welcomed an announcement by the Central African Republic that it had dissolved its Seleka rebel group, while also issuing the violent alliance a cautious warning.
“We call on all actors, particularly those who belong to the now disbanded Seleka rebel alliance, to refrain from attacks on civilians and call on the interim government in Bangui to establish security throughout the Central African Republic,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
President Michel Djotodia said on Friday he was dissolving the alliance that overthrew the country's former leader and brought him to power, without providing further detail on how he planned to neutralise the group.
After ousting president Francois Bozize from power, Djotodia's Seleka rebel alliance won de facto recognition from the international community and a shot at steering the nation through the transition period leading to fresh polls within 18 months.
Six months after Bozize's ouster, however, the picture remains bleak, with reports of widespread rape, child soldier recruitment and weapons proliferation prompting UN chief Ban Ki-moon to say the country needed the world's “urgent attention”.
Washington welcomes “the decree issued by the Central African Republic government that dissolved the Seleka rebel alliance”, Psaki said.
The State Department, which keeps close tabs on the country and closed its embassy in Bangui at the end of December, regularly condemns abuses by the Seleka rebels, but has never categorised Bozize's ousting as a coup. - Sapa-AFP