Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

More power-sharing in Africa?

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Kenya’s power-sharing government was only born after weeks of election violence that killed 1,300 people. Zimbabwe’s power sharing agreement is yet to bear fruit as southern Africa’s former breadbasket crumbles into economic ruin.

So will power sharing in Central African Republic, where one of Africa’s most forgotten conflicts has been simmering for more than half a decade, fare any better?

After 10 days of United Nations-backed talks, President Francois Bozize, a former army chief who seized power in a 2003 coup, has agreed with rebel and opposition leaders, including the man he deposed, to form a consensus government to rule until the next scheduled presidential elections in 2010.

The stakes are high. Despite its mineral riches, which include diamonds and uranium, Central African Republic remains prostrated by poverty and languishes near the bottom of the U.N. human development index. The country and its people are scarred by fighting before, during and after the 2003 coup that included mass rapes — used as a weapon of war — torture and killings now being investigated by the International Criminal Court. Low-intensity northern insurgencies since then have driven tens of thousands of civilians into the bush as they flee rebel and bandit raids, and government army counter-attacks.

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