Ban urges restoration of constitutional order following Central African Republic coup Michael Haggerson at 1:39 PM ET
[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] on Sunday condemned [press release; UN News Centre report] a coup by Central African Republic (CAR) [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] Seleka rebels after they seized the country's capital of Bangui, causing President Francois Bozize to flee the country. Ban appealed for calm and demanded the "swift restoration of constitutional order." The fighting began on Friday after a January peace agreement collapsed [Reuters report]. Ban described the humanitarian situation as "dire" due to ongoing gun fire, looting and a lack of electricity and water. The UN estimates that there are 1.5 million people currently in the need of aid. In response to international criticism of the coup, the Seleka rebels pledged to create a power-sharing government, which they claim that Bozize had failed to do by not including Seleka fighters in the country's military. The African Union [official website] also condemned the coup by the rebels and suspended [Reuters report] the CAR from the Union and imposed sanctions against the country.
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