Central African Republic declares state of emergency

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — Central African Republic has declared a 15-day state of emergency throughout the country as a coalition of armed groups seeks to overthrow the newly re-elected President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

The spokesperson for the presidency, Albert Yaloke Mokpeme, made the announcement Thursday on national radio.

He said the state of emergency applies until Feb. 4.

Last week, the rebels attacked just outside the capital, Bangui, but were repelled by U.N. peacekeeping forces. The U.N. mission has asked the U.N. Security Council for more troops.

The rebels are carrying out sporadic attacks in towns far from Bangui and on the RN3 highway, the crucial supply line linking the capital with neighboring Cameroon.

The coalition of armed groups is calling for Touadera’s resignation. He was re-elected in a contentious vote on Dec. 27.

Militias claiming to represent ethnic or other groups control two-thirds of the country’s territory, raising questions about government’s control of the vast, mineral-rich central African nation.

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