Central Africa President announces candidacy for December election

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (AFP) – Central African Republic (CAR) President Faustin-Archange Touadera announced on Saturday he would run in the December election in the country ravaged by over seven years of civil war.

Touadera, 63, was elected in February 2016 with two-thirds of the vote, but has since struggled to stem vicious intercommunal violence in the poor, landlocked nation where militia groups control two-thirds of the territory.

“It is a very heavy responsibility. I accept to be your candidate,” the head of state, who had been expected to run for re-election, told members of his United Hearts Movement (MCU) party in the capital Bangui.

Violence remains entrenched in the Central African Republic despite a peace accord signed in February last year between the government and 14 armed groups, which often claim to defend the interests of specific communities or religions.