Central African Republic government resigns

BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (AFP) – Central African Republic Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada and his government resigned on Thursday, setting the stage for a political reshuffle in an impoverished country struggling with a rebellion and a bust-up with its traditional ally France.

The premier announced his resignation on Twitter, but President Faustin Archange Touadera’s spokesman told AFP he could be tapped to lead a refreshed administration.

“We will know within a few hours if the president keeps the prime minister on,” Albert Yaloke Mokpeme said.

A former chief of staff to Touadera, Ngrebada had been in post since early 2019 in Central African Republic (CAR), rated the second least-developed country in the world by the United Nations (UN) and suffering from the aftermath of a civil conflict that erupted in 2013.

He had helped craft a February 2019 peace deal signed with rebel groups in Khartoum. Touadera was re-elected last December on a turnout of fewer than one in three voters.

The ballot was hampered by armed groups that at the time controlled around two-thirds of the country, and a rebel coalition mounted an offensive on the capital Bangui in the runup to polling day.

Legislative elections have since left Touadera’s United Hearts Movement (MCU) short of a parliamentary majority.

Political scientists nevertheless say that in key votes he can count on the backing of large numbers of independent MPs.

Central African Republic Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada. PHOTO: AL JAZEERA