YAOUNDE, Cameroon

The UN secretary-general late Wednesday condemned recent violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), reiterating his call for a global cease-fire in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, his spokesman said.

Stéphane Dujarric said Antonio Guterres remains concerned about recent armed clashes and threats to civilians.

“He regrets the loss of human lives, the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, the forced displacement of over 200,000 persons, and the increased suffering of the population.’’

He reiterated that perpetrators of grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as serious crimes, including the killing of civilians and UN peacekeepers, must be held accountable.

He said Guterres has taken note of the final results of the first round of legislative elections, as proclaimed by the Constitutional Court on Feb. 1. A second round is scheduled for Feb. 14.

President Faustin-Archange Touadera was proclaimed winner, with 53% of votes in the Dec. 27 poll.

The situation in CAR, a landlocked country in central Africa worsened after the rejection of former president François Bozizé’s candidacy for the presidential election.

Bozizé then joined hands with other armed groups, some of which were an off-shoot of the Séléka coalition that toppled him in 2013, plunging the country into instability.

The Democratic Opposition Coalition (COD-2020), comprising over a dozen of political parties, has announced its withdrawal from the current electoral process and its rejection of the results.

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