The situation in the eastern city of Kembe is reported calm following the murder of seven members of former president Andre Kolingba's opposition Rassemblement democratique centrafricain (RDC) last month, humanitarian sources said. Investigation missions have been sent to the area. In an interview with 'Le soleil centrafricain', Desire Kolingba, the son of the former president, described the murders as a "provocation" by the ruling MLPC party and criticised the "passive attitude" of the UN peacekeeping force MINURCA. The seven killed included an army lieutenant, the head of the local gendarmerie and a vice-president of the RDC youth movement, but the motive for the killings remained unclear.
The sources also expressed concern that an upsurge in fighting in neighbouring Equateur province of DRC could have negative implications on the security situation in CAR.
DRC Minister meets Patasse
Congolese Foreign Minister Yerodia Abdoulaye Ndombasi visited the CAR recently to brief President Ange-Felix Patasse on the "deteriorating" situation in the region, DRC state television reported. Ndombasi said the "aggression" against his country risked destablising the entire central African region. He told the CAR authorities that President Laurent-Desire Kabila was urging "brother countries" to demand the withdrawal of the "aggressors" from DRC to ensure stability in the region.
President says "page turned"
President Ange-Felix Patasse said his country had "turned over a page". In an interview with Radio France Internationale last week on his second term as president, he said his government would opt for "sincere dialogue". Army mutinies, which had characterised his first term in office, were a thing of the past. He blamed the incidents on "misunderstandings", and said he had learned from his mistakes. "We are taking a series of measures to revamp public finance by fighting energetically against fraud and the embezzlement of funds, corruption, the corrupt people and those who corrupt them," he said.
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