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Geopolitics

UN Calls For "Restoration Of Order" After Central African Republic Coup

RFI, FRANCE 24 (France), AL JAZEERA (Qatar), AAP (Australia), MAIL&GUARDIAN (South Africa)

Worldcrunch

BANGUI – After rebels in the Central African Republic ousted President François Bozize, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared Monday that he was “deeply concerned by reports of violations of human rights.”

Michel Djotodia, the leader of the Seleka rebels, declared himself president on Sunday and pledged to keep a power-sharing government in place, reports Al Jazeera.

In an exclusive interview, Djotodia told Radio France Internationale that he would respect the terms of a peace deal signed in January, which provides for free and fair elections within three years.

The Seleka rebels resumed hostilities last week after they accused Bozize of reneging on the terms of a peace accord, reports the AAP Australian news agency.

According to witnesses, pillaging and raids were reported overnight and gunfire could still be heard on Monday morning, reports France 24.

Thirteen South African soldiers were killed in clashes with the rebels reports the Mail&Guardian. South African troops have been stationed in the Central African Republic since 2007 to contribute to peace and stability in the region. “It is a sad day for our country,” said South African President Jacob Zuma. “This will not deter us from going ahead with peace and democracy,” he said.

In his statement Monday, Ban Ki-moon condemned the seizure of the presidential palace in the capital of Bangui, and called for the “swift restoration of constitutional order.”

The January peace deal allowed Bozize to remain in office until 2016, established a government of national unity led by Nicolas Tiangaye, a prominent opposition figure, and provided for the release of political prisoners – a demand the rebels claim has not been met. Djotodia told RFI that Tiangaye would stay on as Prime Minister.

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(photo: UNDP)

Ousted President Bozize, himself seized power in a coup in 2003. His legacy after a decade in power is corruption and poverty, despite abundant natural resources that include uranium, gold and diamonds. The country has been unstable since its independence from France in 1960, says the AAP.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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