Central African Republic Gears up for Tense Vote Amid Violence

The Central African Republic is bracing itself for a second round of parliamentary elections on Sunday, which comes after a rise in rebel violence following December’s presidential vote, AfricaNews reported.

Rebels calling themselves the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) launched attacks, first to disrupt the Dec. 27 elections and then to destabilise the newly-elected government of President Faustin Archange Touadera.

The insurgents, who the United Nations say are backed by former president François Bozizé, tried to take control amid allegations of voting irregularities.

In January, they laid siege to the capital Bangui. The United Nations estimates that 240,000 people are displaced in the country since mid-December.

Hundreds of thousands of people are also left without basic food or health care, and with the main roads between the Central African Republic and Cameroon closed for almost two months, prices have skyrocketed leaving families unable to afford food.

The rebels control nearly two-thirds of the country, making it difficult to deliver humanitarian aid. Aid delivery was stopped for nearly a month in some zones.