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Seleka Rebels


Séléka (also called the Séléka CPSK-CPJP-UFDR) is an alliance of militias[1] in the Central African Republic that overthrew the government on March 24, 2013.[2][3][4] Séléka leader Michel Djotodia has claimed himself President of the Central African Republic.[5][6] Nearly all the members of Séléka are Muslim

Background

The rebel coalition originated in an agreement signed between factions of the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace (CPJP) and the Patriotic Convention for Saving the Country (CPSK), two of the CAR's many anti-government militias.[11] CPJP in this case refers to the "Fundamental" splinter group of the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace, one of many militias involved in the CAR's long-running civil war. A different faction of the CPJP signed a peace accord with the government on August 25. The Séléka first emerged on 15 September 2012 under the name alliance CPSK-CPJP, when it published a press release taking responsibility for the attacks on three towns that day.[12] It was the last of the major rebel groups to do so.[13] The Patriotic Convention for Saving the Country (CPSK) was previously hardly known.[13]
 
On 15 December 2012 the group published its first press release using the full name "Séléka CPSK-CPJP-UFDR". This including the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR). Two groups that do not appear in the title, the long-standing militia Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC), and the newly minted Alliance for Revival and Rebuilding (A2R), were reportedly part of the alliance.[5]In September 2013 Michel Djotodia announced that Seleka had been dissolved.[14] The disbanded group has dispersed into the countryside and have been commiting mass atrocities according to Human Rights Watch.[15][16][17][18][19] Executions, rape and looting by ex-Seleka fighters after the coup and disbanding have formented religious tension where the population is 80 per cent Christian.[20] Christian militas, using the name anti-balaka, have been formed to fight the Muslim Seleka.[15][8][9] The United Nations is considering sending troops to stop the atrocities.[21] On November 26, France indicated that it would boost its presence an additional 1,000 soldiers in the Central African Republic to augment its existent 400 troops if it receives U.N. backing.[22]

Name

The name of the group means the "CPSK-CPJP-UFDR Alliance" in Sango, the CAR's local national language, and one of two official languages with French.[23][24] The international media has shortened this name to Séléka, or Seleka in English, resulting in the common pleonasm "Seleka coalition."
The term Séléka had been used previously in CAR politics when Jean-Jacques Démafouth launched the political party New Alliance for Progress (French: Nouvelle Alliance pour le Progrès) with the Sango name Fini Seleka.[25].[7][8][9][10] 
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