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Henri Marie Dondra appointed Prime Minister of the Central African Republic | Central African Republic News

The former Minister of Finance was appointed Prime Minister the day after the announcement of his resignation by Firmin Ngrebada.

Henri Marie Dondra has been appointed Prime Minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), the country’s presidency announced in a statement.

The appointment of the former finance minister on Friday comes the day after former Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada announced his resignation and that of his government following parliamentary elections.

Former chief of staff to President Faustin-Archange Touadera, Ngrebada had been in office since early 2019, when he helped draft a peace accord signed in February 2019 with rebel groups in Sudan, which now appears to be on the point of collapsing.

CAR has seen waves of deadly inter-communal fighting since 2013 that has killed thousands and displaced many more.

Violence resumed last year after the Constitutional Court rejected the candidacy of former President François Bozizé in the presidential election in December.

Touadera was sworn in for a second five-year term in March despite the opposition’s call for a resumption of the December elections due to alleged irregularities and low turnout.

The poll was hampered by armed groups that then controlled around two-thirds of the country, and a rebel coalition aligned with Bozizé launched an offensive on the capital, Bangui, as polling day approached.

Suspension of the French mission

Ngrebada’s resignation and subsequent appointment of Dondra came in a turbulent week after France announced it was suspending military operations with its former colony.

Some 160 French soldiers who provided operational support, while training the Central African forces, suspended their mission.

The decision did not affect the 100 or so French soldiers involved in United Nations peacekeeping forces and European Union training forces in the country.

French officials accused the authorities in Bangui of not having carried out anti-French disinformation campaigns online, targeting in particular the ambassador and the country’s defense attaché. They also cited the government’s treatment of the political opposition.

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