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CAR army chief dismissed after 100 die in clashes

September 12, 2013 (BANGUI) - The president of the Central African Republic (CAR) has fired the country’s army commander days after fighting between government forces and armed men loyal to the former president engaged in violent clashes which left 100 people dead.

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Map of the Central African Republic (The Economist)

In an announcement on state radio on Tuesday, president Michel Djotodia said Jean-Pierre Dolle-Waya had been replaced as army chief by General Ferdinand Bombayake.

Djotodia, a former leader of the Seleka rebels, toppled Francois Bozize in March.

A presidential spokesman said the firing of the army commander was linked to the death of 100 people in fighting between government soldiers and armed supporters of Bozize.

In August, United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos warned that the CAR poses a significant threat to peace in the Great Lakes region following the toppling of Bozize in March by rebels and the failure of the new government to maintain law and order in the country.

Bozize told French radio last month that he still had ambitions of returning to power.

CAR remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with ongoing conflict leading to aid groups pulling out and the UN leaving communities affected by fighting unattended to.

(ST)