Seleka chief denies kidnapping, mercenary rumors

Acting seleka coalition chief General Mohamed-Moussa Dhaffane on Thursday denied reports that members of his militia had been involved in the kidnapping and murder of Christian mercenaries

Acting seleka coalition chief General Mohamed-Moussa Dhaffane on Thursday denied reports that members of his militia had been involved in the kidnapping and murder of Christian mercenaries

TUNIS – Acting seleka coalition chief General Mohamed-Moussa Dhaffane on Thursday denied reports that members of his militia had been involved in the kidnapping and murder of Christian mercenaries in the Central African Republic (CAR).

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Dhaffane accused the rival ant-balaka Christian militia and certain government officials of standing behind what he termed "media playfulness."

A CAR-based news website recently claimed that Dhaffane had told Chinese media that his movement was responsible for the kidnapping of a group of mercenaries in the country's northwest.

"Published information in this regard is nothing but lies," Dhaffane told AA. "The Seleka can't be linked to these mean actions."

Mineral-rich CAR descended into anarchy one year ago when Seleka rebels ousted president Francois Bozize, a Christian who had come to power in a 2003 coup.

Since last December, thousands, mostly Muslims, have been killed in sectarian bloodletting throughout the country, which has been blamed on the anti-balaka militia.

Dhaffane, a former minister, said the rumors about his militia were intended to deceive the public with the aim of destabilizing the country.

"Our morals can't permit such kind of action," Dhaffane said. "This action [the kidnappings] deserves condemnation."

He accused the anti-balaka and certain government officials of promoting the rumors, saying these officials had proven ineffective regarding implementation of the Ndjamena agreement, which calls for power sharing between the warring parties or national reconciliation.

Dhaffane said his militia was committed to national reconciliation and that it was ready to lay down its arms once peace had been established.

He added that if peace did not prevail, partition would be the country's only solution.

"I hope this partition can happen in peaceful ways and in the light of laws in this regard," Dhaffane said.

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