Inside Africa

Deadly militia attacks in C.Africa ahead of president’s visit

16 minutes ago | Central African Republic Deadly militia attacks in C.Africa ahead of president's visit By AFP The attack came a day after President Touadera, seen here at a news conference last April, set a date for peace talks with militias who control most of the country. By FLORENT VERGNES (AFP)

Militiamen killed two police officers Thursday in the Central African Republic town of Bambari ahead of a scheduled visit by the country's president, the government said.

The attack came a day after President Faustin-Archange Touadera announced a date for African Union-brokered peace talks with armed groups who control most of the CAR.

Members of the UPC militia and their allies carried out "various attacks" in the town early Thursday, an official statement said.

"Two policemen were killed and another was wounded," Communications Minister Ange-Maxime Kazagui told AFP.

Local papers said 10 people had been killed. It was not possible to confirm this toll.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said it had treated 30 people for bullet wounds.

MINUSCA, the UN force in the country, sent peacekeepers to the site of the clashes, spokesman Vladimir Monteiro told AFP. Its troops there had come under fire a day earlier, he added.

According to an internal UN report seen by AFP, a combattant called "General Bello," in charge of UPC fighters in Bambari, had been wounded.

Touadera had been scheduled to visit Bambari, located in the centre of the country, on Thursday and Friday to attend ceremonies for World Food Day.

The ceremonies, initially set for last October 16, had already been postponed twice because of unrest and were suspended once more after the latest clashes.

"The seriousness of these attacks is all the more unacceptable" given that on Wednesday the authorities agreed to open talks with the rebels, the government statement said.

Touadera on Wednesday had announced long-awaited AU-backed talks with rebels for January 24 in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

Map of the Central African Republic (CAR).  By William ICKES (AFP) Map of the Central African Republic (CAR). By William ICKES (AFP)

The AU initiative, launched in 2017, has been heavily criticised for its slow pace but nevertheless has the backing of the United Nations.

Further east, the town of Bakouma remains in the hands of another rebel group allied to the UPC, the Popular Front for the Rebirth of CAR (FPRC). The FPRC seized control of the town in late December.

Both groups are offshoots of the Seleka rebel alliance that overthrew the regime of Francois Bozize in March 2013, holding power until 2014.

Touadera's government controls only a slim part of the country, and rival rebel forces regularly clash over diamonds, gold and livestock.

Central African Republic Powered By Modern Ghana C. Africa army head came to Russia for training: minister C. Africa sets peace talks for January 24: AU Funding crisis threatens UN air drops in C.Africa: WFP C.Africa's anti-Balaka militia quits disarmament efforts

Related posts

Phone call one of errors in ship collision off Corsica: probe

Author

Kenya Court To Rule On Decriminalising Homosexuality

Author

S.Africa’s ANC gears up for election under new leader

Author

ECA-Uruguay Partnership To Focus On Africa’s Agricultural Sector

Author

French Senate Demands Probe Into Macron Aides Over Bodyguard Scandal

Author

DR Congo: South African and Zambian presidents urge ‘speedy’ election results

Author

Leave a Comment