South Asia and Beyond

Central African Republic Runoff Vote

The gold and diamond rich Central African Republic of less than 5 million people has voted in a runoff to decide who will be the next president. The man widely expected to win is President Faustin Touadera, who had won re-election during the first round of voting last December.

But that voting was marred when rebels, apparently encouraged by former president Francois Bozize, tried to take control claiming voting irregularities. They laid siege to the capital Bangui, stopped the flow of essential supplies to the city and forced more than 200,000 people to flee their homes.

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However, government troops backed by forces from Rwanda and Russia, were able to drive the rebels out. This time, the elections appear to have gone off smoothly, thanks to enhanced government presence and UN forces deployed in strength.