Central African Republic PM Firmin Ngrebada, cabinet issues resignation

Central African Republic and France have been facingstrained political and diplomatic ties

Central African Republic (CAR) Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada on Thursday tendered his resignation along with his entire cabinet.

“I have just handed over to His Excellency the President of the Republic Faustin Archange Touadera my resignation and that of the government,” Ngrebada wrote on his Twitter.

This development has come amid tensed political and diplomatic relations between CAR and its former colonial ruler France. Earlier this week, France suspended military support and aid to the landlockded African country, accussing the government for being “complicit” in a massive Russia-led anti-French disinformation campaign.

“On several occasions, the Central African authorities have made commitments that they have not kept, both politically towards the opposition and in terms of their behavior towards France, which is the target of a massive disinformation campaign in CAR,” France said, as quoted by African News.

It is important to note that Facebook, in December 2020, accused both France and Moscow of opening misinformation campaigns against eachother in the African nation.

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In addition, CAR authorities recently charged French national Juan Remy Quignolot with espionage and conspirancy almost after a month of his arrest. During his arrest on May 10, he was found in possession of weapons, military fatigues and foreign currency at his Bangui residence by the police.

In April, Paris recalled fived French military aid workers posted in CAR’sDefence Ministry. Furthermore, the European nation has also suspended all forms of military training to the Central African Armed Forces (Faca) by French troops in various parts of the country.

Significantly, the Central African Republic has been pressuring Paris to lift the 2013 arms embargo, that is scheuled to expire on July 31

Earlier, the French government granted 10 million euros ($12.18m) in budgetary support to Bangui along with a force of nearly 300 soldiers to train its troops. Reportedly, Touadera’s government also sought helpfrom Russian paramilitaries to train the Faca forces against rebels.

Ngrebada, a former chief staff to President Toudera, has been CAR’s Prime Minister since February 2019. Notably, he helped in crafting the Khartoum peace agreement in February 2019 between the CAR government and rebel groups in Khartoum to bring stability in the country.

However, as per media reports, the President is likely to ask Ngrebada to continue at the post to lead a new government in Bangui.

Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in Africa and the world. The landlocked country has been marred with raging civil war that started with the toppling of the government in 2013 by a coalition of armed groups.