Central African Republic: Member of Parliament opens fire in the National Assembly without causing injuries

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While the Central African deputies met on October 29 to elect the new president of the National Assembly, following the dismissal of Karim Meckassoua, one of them, former anti-balaka leader, took out his gun and threatened those present before shoot.

Gunshots were fired in the Chamber of the Central African National Assembly and in the surrounding area on Monday, October 29, when the deputies gathered to elect their new president, following the dismissal of Karim Meckassoua, three days later. earlier. While one of the two presidential candidates, Laurent Ngon Baba, was making his speech, the Bimbo MP, Alfred Yekatom, known as "Colonel Rhombot", pointed a gun at another MP, threatening him.

Trying to escape a first arrest by the police, Alfred Yekatom fired two shots in the air, while heading to the chair of the meeting, Rene Gbondo. It was finally the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) who arrested him as he was preparing to leave the National Assembly, before handing him over to the gendarmerie.

"I was right next to the member. I thought he was going to shoot right away, "says Young Africa an inhabitant who came to attend the election. For Clement Ndotizo, deputy of the 7th arrondissement and member of the group "Coeur uni", loyal to the head of state Faustin-Archange Touadéra, "it is the skid too much: he has tarnished the image of the deputies, he wanted to fail the procedure ".

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Former anti-balaka leader

Alfred Yekatom is a former anti-balaka leader, the guerrilla that controlled the entire south of the country between 2013 and 2015. In 2015, he was placed on the UN list of people "indulging or supporting acts that compromise peace "in CAR. Elected deputy, he is considered very close to Karim Meckassoua, MP of the PK5 who was the president of the National Assembly until his controversial dismissal on October 26th.

According to the deputy Jean-Paul Service Tezawa, a request for waiver of his parliamentary immunity for Alfred Yekatom had been made by the prosecution but had not received follow-up. He was to appear before the Criminal Court for assassinations, illegal possession of arms, criminal conspiracy. "With this flagrant offense, justice will go ahead and bring out his cases. [de l’époque où il était chef anti-balaka, ndlr]. The prosecutor even came here to see the facts by himself, "says the Young Africa.

During his arrest, another MP, former minister Aurélien Simplice Zingas, also tried to force the checkpoint at the entrance of the National Assembly. The gendarmes then opened fire and stopped his vehicle.

The dismissal of Karim Meckassoua at the head of the National Assembly, for various shortcomings, including disbursements without justification, has almost resuscitated community tensions in the country. He himself called for calm on October 28 during a speech in Bangui's PK5 district, which houses the majority of Muslims in the capital. He also described his dismissal as a "coup against the Constitution".

The election of his replacement, according to the Constitution, was to take place on October 29 before midnight.