The presidential spokesman said the state of emergency will allow authorities “to make arrests without going through national prosecutors.”
The Central African Republic (CAR) announced a 15-day state of emergency after armed groups attempted to blockade the capital, Bangui, in an attempt to topple newly re-elected President Faustin Archange Touadera.
Rebels controlling about two-thirds of the perpetually volatile nation launched an offensive a week before the December 27 presidential elections, trying to block Bangui and carrying out several attacks on key national roads.
“The state of emergency has been declared on the national territory for 15 days, starting at midnight (23:00 GMT),” Presidential spokesman Albert Yaloke Mokpeme told national radio on Thursday.
He told AFP news agency that the state of emergency would also allow the authorities “to make arrests without going through national prosecutors.”
Touadera was declared the winner of the poll by the constitutional court on Monday, despite a very low turnout mainly due to insecurity in a country plagued by civil war for eight years.
On January 13, the rebels launched two simultaneous attacks on Bangui but were repelled by MINUSCA, the UN mission in CAR.
“Since this thwarted offensive, there have been no other attacks, just incidents related to the curfew,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall, a spokesperson for MINUSCA.
On Thursday, the UN envoy to CAR said the country “is at serious risk of suffering a security and peacebuilding setback.”
A substantial increase in the number of peacekeepers would give the mission greater mobility on the ground, Mankeur Ndiaye Ndiaye said in a address to the UN Security Council.
Ndiaye also lobbied for an extension of “a few months” of the reinforcement by 300 Rwandan soldiers detached since December from the peace mission in South Sudan.
The reinforcement was planned for two months.