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Rebel Coup, Looting Hampering Humanitarian Aid Delivery In CAR

“A rebel-led weekend coup in the Central African Republic (CAR) took place against a backdrop of worsening humanitarian conditions in many parts of the country, with access to affected populations severely restricted,” IRIN reports. The Séléka rebel group overtook the capital of Bangui on March 24, causing President François Bozizé to flee and naming Michel Djotodia as the new leader, the news service notes. “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the ‘unconstitutional seizure’ and called ‘for the swift restoration of constitutional order,'” IRIN writes (3/25). According to the Associated Press, “Aid groups and the international community on Tuesday condemned widespread looting in Central African Republic’s capital, saying that even hospitals had been robbed in the aftermath of a weekend coup that ousted the president of a decade.” State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell called the coup an “illegitimate seizure of power,” adding, “We strongly condemn these actions. … The Séléka leadership must account for its trail of destruction,” the news agency notes (Pouambi/Callimachi, 3/26).