Central African Republic militia leaders arrested

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) - Officials in Central African Republic say 11 men including leaders of the Christian anti-Balaka militia have been transferred to the capital's main prison.

The men were detained during a disarmament program Saturday. They are the first prisoners taken into custody by the government of transitional President Catherine Samba-Panza.

Justice Minister Isabelle Gaudeuille declined to name the suspects or specify the allegations against them. But Jean-Pierre Sadou of the African peacekeeping mission said they included multiple anti-Balaka leaders.

The anti-Balaka militia formed in response to widespread abuses committed by the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels, who overthrew the president of a decade last year.

Militia members have been implicated in recent brutal violence targeting Muslims, and the head of the French military mission has called them "enemies of the peace."


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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