Central African Republic: The Central African Democratic Rally (Rassemblement démocratique centrafricain, RDC), including the treatment of its members by the authorities since François Bozizé came to power (15 March 2003 - April 2005)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||28 April 2005|
|Citation / Document Symbol||CAF43521.FE|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Central African Republic: The Central African Democratic Rally (Rassemblement démocratique centrafricain, RDC), including the treatment of its members by the authorities since François Bozizé came to power (15 March 2003 - April 2005) , 28 April 2005, CAF43521.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/42df60b1a.html [accessed 21 October 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
According to several sources, the leader of the Central African Democratic Rally (Rassemblement démocratique centrafricain, RDC) is André Kolingba (AFP 22 Apr. 2005; Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 27 Mar. 2005; EIU 28 Oct. 2004), the former president of the Central African Republic (ibid.; AFP 22 Apr. 2005; Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 27 Apr. 2005) from 1981 to 1993 (AFP 22 Apr. 2005). Daniel Lingandji is the party's secretary-general (ibid.).
During the first round of the presidential election on 13 March 2005 (ibid.; Xinhua 13 Apr. 2005), the RDC president won 16.36 per cent of the votes (AFP 22 Apr. 2005; Le Messager 1 Apr. 2005; Le Potentiel 2 Apr. 2005; IZF 8 Apr. 2005; ibid. 7 Apr. 2005; ibid. 1 Apr. 2005a), placing Kolingba third, after the current president, Bozizé, and Martin Zuguélé (Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 27 Mar. 2005; Le Messager 1 Apr. 2005; IZF 1 Apr. 2005a; BBC 31 Mar. 2005; Le Potentiel 2 Apr. 2005). In its comments regarding the election, the United Nations Security Council said it was pleased that the election went smoothly (Xinhua 13 Apr. 2005). In its 27 March 2005 issue, Jeune Afrique/L'intelligent indicated that [translation] "no presidential election has ever been so open in the country and in the region," and that [translation] "voting procedures were carried out correctly in a surprisingly calm atmosphere."
However, various sources reported that a shootout took place on 22 March 2005 (Angola Press 24 Mar. 2005; BBC 23 Mar. 2005; Sangonet 24 Mar. 2005a; Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 27 Mar. 2005) outside André Kolingba's house, and that this was a result of a misunderstanding between soldiers of the Presidential Guard and those responsible for ensuring Kolingba's protection (Sangonet 24 Mar. 2005a; ibid. 24 Mar. 2005b; see also BBC 23 Mar. 2005). Supporters of the RDC president considered the shooting an assassination attempt on their leader (Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent 27 Mar. 2005; BBC 23 Mar. 2005). However, government authorities have rejected this hypothesis (Sangonet 24 Mar. 2005b; Angola Press 24 Mar. 2005). In reference to this shooting, Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent reported that it was [translation] "a blunder . . . in no way was it an assassination attempt" (27 Mar. 2005).
No current information on the treatment of RDC members by government authorities could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. However, some sources indicated that after President Bozizé came to power on 15 March 2003, many people who had fled the Central African Republic after the coup d'état led by André Kolingba in May 2001 returned to the country, after deciding "that conditions were ripe for their return" (IRIN 5 May 2003; see also Sangonet 18 Sept. 2003). According to these sources, most of these refugees are members of the Yakoma ethnic group, to which André Kolingba (Sangonet 18 Sept. 2003; see also IRIN 22 Dec. 2003) and members of his party belong (IRIN 5 May 2003). The RDC president won back his seat in the Central African capital in February 2005, after being in exile since 28 May 2001 as a result of a failed coup attempt (IZF 27 Feb. 2005). According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), André Kolingba was permitted to return to the country in October 2003 after extensive negotiations with François Bozizé, the country's current president (28 Oct. 2004).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Agence France Presse (AFP). 22 April 2005. "Kolingba crée la surprise en refusant le ralliement à Bozizé."
Angola Press. 24 March 2005. "Bangui dément une tentative d'assassinat de Kolingba." (Panapress)
BBC News. 31 March 2005. "CAR President Faces Run-Off Vote."
_____. 23 March 2005. "CAR 'Assassination Attempt' Fails."
The Economist Intelligent Unit (EIU) [London]. 28 October 2004. "Central African Republic: Key Figures." (EIU ViewsWire/Dialog)
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). 22 December 2003. "Le PAM distribue de la nourriture aux rapatriés."
_____. 5 May 2003. "Central Africa Refugees Seek Voluntary Repatriation." (Dialog)
Investir en zone franc (IZF). 12 April 2005. "RCA : l'ONU se réjouit du bon déroulement du premier tour des élections."
_____. 8 April 2005. "Centrafrique/élections : RCA : Bozizé en position de force pour le second tour de la présidentielle."
_____. 7 April 2005. "Le RDC soutient la candidature de Bozizé au second tout de la présidentielle."
_____. 1 April 2005a. "Les résultats du premier tour du scrutin présidentiel centrafricain."
_____. 1 April 2005b. "Washington salue le premier tour des élections centrafricaines."
_____. 27 February 2005. "L'ex-président Kolingba et l'ex-premier ministre Ziguélé de retour à Bangui."
Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent [Paris]. 27 March 2005. François Soudan. "Et maintenant?"
Le Messager [Douala]. 1 April 2005. "Il y aura un second tour." (Dialog)
Le Potentiel [Kinshasa]. 2 April 2005. Pierre Emangongo. "Deuxième tour de la présidentielle centrafricaine : André Kolingba est un pesanteur important dans l'ombre" (AllAfrica).
Sangonet. 24 March 2005a. "Incident armé à Bangui avant les résultats des élections."
_____. 24 March 2005b. "Centrafrique : pas de tentative d'assassinat de Kolingba, selon la présidence."
_____. 18 September 2003. "Les réfugiés centrafricains au Tchad veulent rentrer mais sont inquiets" (AFP).
Xinhua [Beijing]. 13 April 2005. "Le Conseil de sécurité se félicite du bon déroulement du premier tour des élections."
Additional Sources Consulted
Publications: Africa Confidential, Africa Research Bulletin, Jeune Afrique/L'Intelligent, Keesing's, Resource Centre country file.
Internet sites, including: AllAfrica, Amnesty International, European Country of Origin Information network (ECOI), FIDH, Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Crisis Group (ICG), MISNA, ReliefWeb, United States Department of State.