- The International Crisis Group has accused President Francois Bozize of blocking progress in Cental African Republic towards holding free elections scheduled for later this year.
The organisation said the ICG warned that President Bozize and his supporters were undermining efforts to end insurgency and bring peace by failing to follow through on agreements reached in a 2008 national dialogue.
President Bozize signed an agreement with opposition parties and rebel groups in December 2008 to form a consensus government to rule until elections are held in April this year. “The new administration has yet to be formed and no framework has been established for the holding of free elections,” the ICG said in a statement.
ICG has called on the international community to suspend financial aid to the country unless President Bozize honours commitments made at talks in December 2008 aimed at ending conflict in the country.
It accuses the president of making changes that could weaken his control of the military and state resources.
The ICG said that the organisation of elections on the basis of a national consensus should be the priority of the first months of 2010. The government in Bangui has announced no date for the polls, but set up an independent electoral commission by presidential decree in August 2009.
ICG has recommended that the elections be held in April, unless technical preparations and the security situation may hinder the process.
The ICG urged President Bozize to negotiate with the remaining rebel group as "the only feasible course of action", in the interest of security across the country, but the report also called on the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and on international donors to help the country.
The Central African Republic, a former French colony, has experienced four military coups since independence in 1960.
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