Protest at Central Africa French Embassy Turns Violent
[An Nahar] Angry demonstrators hurled projectiles and tore down the French flag at La Belle France's embassy in the Central African Republic capital Bangui on Wednesday, protesting at a lack of help to deter rebels who have occupied a large swathe of the country.
Former colonial power La Belle France "has the tendency to abandon us," a protester said as the group arrived from an earlier sit-in outside the U.S. embassy. "We no longer need La Belle France, La Belle France may as well take its embassy and leave."
Protesters close to embattled President Francois Bozize had begun their U.S. embassy protest chanting calls for peace just as rebels approaching Bangui called on forces loyal to Bozize to lay down their arms.
But the peaceful protest moved to the French embassy where the mood turned violent and demonstrators broke windows and pulled down the French flag.
"This situation is completely unacceptable," said French ambassador Serge Mucetti.
"I ask the government of the Central African Republic to respect the appropriate agreements on this matter. Those who acted in such a manner are enemies of the Central African Republic," he said.
A student demonstrator at the scene accused La Belle France of "not respecting defense agreements" linking the two countries.
The offices of Air La Belle France were also attacked, an AFP news hound witnessed.
Posted by: Fred 2012-12-27