South Africa

Central African Republic: Henri Dondra Is New Prime Minister

The former finance boss was appointed on Friday following a presidential decree.

The former Finance Minister and Budget, Henri Marie Dondra has been appointed the new Prime Minister and Head of Government of the Central African Republic (CAR), following the resignation on Thursday of his predecessor, Fermin Ngrebada and his entire government. He was appointed following a decree signed late on Friday, June 11, 2021, by the Central African President, Faustin Archange Touadera.

After five years as Finance and Budget Minister, Henri Dondra, a senior member of the ruling party, considered closed to Touadera, is known for his knowledge of international aid and finance programmes, which are very important for CAR, one of the world's poorest countries. He is taking office at a time when the country is engaged in fighting rebel groups and in a crisis with France, a former metropolis and traditional ally. Fermin Ngrebada, Touadera's former chief of staff, had been Prime Minister since February 2019, after helping to draw up a peace deal signed that month in Khartoum with 14 armed groups to end the civil war raging in the country.

The resignation of his government came just days after France this week suspended financial aid and military cooperation in CAR, whose army is supported by Russia, accusing the Central African government of failing to stop "massive disinformation campaigns" against France, the maltreatment of members of the opposition, the charging of a French citizen, Jean Remy Quignolot with espionage, conspiracy and harming national security. Some 160 French soldiers who were providing operational support, while also training Central African forces, have halted their activities in the country. However, the decision to suspend French troops does not affect the approximately 100 French soldiers involved in the United Nations peacekeeping forces and the European Union training forces in the country.

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