Central African Republic. Since the beginning of the
year, the Central African Republic was hit by protest
strikes against missing wages to state employees, dismissed
President Ange-Félix Patassé in April by Prime Minister
Anicet Georges Dologuélé, who held that post for just over a
year. Martin Ziguele was appointed new Prime Minister.
A coup attempt in late May led to more than a week's
fighting in the capital Bangui. At least 60 people were
killed and 80,000 fled their homes. The coup attempt was
defeated with the help of Libyan soldiers sent to the
president's rescue. Behind the coup attempt was former
military dictator André Kolingba, who himself fled before he
could be arrested.
Countryaah, the conflict again exposed the contradictions between
peoples from the southern part of the country and those in
the north that led to three army myths since the mid-1990s.
During his time as president in 1981-93, Kolingba filled the
army with members of his ethnic group Yakoma from the south,
while President Patassé surrounded himself with his own
people group sara from the north. Later, Patassé reshaped
the government and replaced all four ministers responsible
for security issues. Also Commander-in-Chief François Bozize
was dismissed but refused to resign. When he was arrested,
soldiers were loyal to him and a new revolt was imminent.
With the help of Libyan soldiers, the army drove away
Bozize, who fled to neighboring Chad.
The unrest hurt the already weak economy and the state
budget for 2001 slimmed down by 31% in September due to
sharply reduced government revenue.