Negotiations Ongoing Over Release Of Kidnapped Minister In CAR

Youth and Sports Minister, Armel Sayo

Reports from the Central African Republic (CAR) transitional government say negotiations with kidnappers were in progress for the release of the country’s Youth and Sports Minister, Armel Sayo, who was kidnapped on Sunday by unidentified militants.

Nicaise Karnou, CAR Public Security Minister, said on Monday in Yaounde, that the kidnappers were suspected to be Christian militant group anti-balaka, who kidnapped several people including a French charity worker and a UN staff last week.

“We have localised the place and network of the kidnappers.

“We have the location of the hostage, he is in capital Bangui, in a place named Boy Rabe and Boy Rabe is controlled by anti-balaka militants,’’ he added.

Sayo was appointed as Youth and Sport minister on January 16 this year after a cabinet reshuffle.

He said he was kidnapped when he was driving on his way back from a church in Bangui.

“We know the kidnappers well and we will stop this kind of acts in respect of the law,”he said.

Meanwhile, Karnou criticised the kidnapped minister for failing to respect the security alert issued by the government.

“The anti-balaka had threatened to kidnap members of the government earlier,’’ he said.

Karnou insisted that no ransom would be paid to the kidnappers, and instead he want the kidnappers to be punished by law.