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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Ex-rebels join CAR unity cabinet

ARPD rebels in CAR
One ARPD leader said they did not win enough posts in the new line-up

The government of the Central African Republic has unveiled a national unity cabinet after a peace agreement with opposition parties and rebel groups.

Ex-senior figures in two main rebel groups have become ministers, taking two of 32 cabinet posts.

Francois Naouyama of the APRD will be environment minister and Djomo Didou of the UFDR becomes minister for housing.

Two opposition party members were also included. The new cabinet is the result of last month's national peace talks.

But critics said the new line-up broke December's agreement, which was aimed at ending years of violent upheaval in the country.

'Disappointment'

One leader within the APRD - which has been opposing the government of President Francois Bozize since he first came to power in a 2003 coup - reportedly expressed disappointment.

Jean-Jacques Larmassoum told Reuters news agency: "It's not enough, we had wanted to have more."

The country of more than four million is one of the world's poorest despite reserves of uranium and diamonds.

It has experienced numerous coups and rebellions since self-styled Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa was toppled in 1979.



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