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3R Rebels Recapture Banga Town On Cameroon-Central African Republic Border

Barely three weeks after the rebels lost the corridor to FACA and their allies, the 3R rebels have reclaimed Banga.

More than three weeks after fierce fighting broke out between rebels of the Return, Reclamation and Reinsertion (3R) movement and soldiers of the Central African Republic national army supported by their Russian allies, Banga town in Haute-Boumbe council in the Amadagaza sub-prefecture has been recaptured by the 3R rebels.

The town fell to the rebels who are members of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) at about 3 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 20 despite heavy bombardment by helicopter gunships of the Russian Wagner Security Group.

The Russians opened hostilities in the zone on Aug. 29, with aerial bombardment of areas in Amadagaza and Gamboula including Beina, Banga, Noufou, and Dilapoko situated 85 km to the north of Gamboula.

However, for the past two weeks, the Russian mercenaries and FACA had reinforced their ground troops which enabled them to capture Banga from the rebels one week ago.

The capture of Banga from the Russians and FACA forces created panic among the civilian populations, most of whom fled across the River Bombe to Cameroon.

On Monday, however, the CPC rebels mounted a counter attack and pushed the Russians and their FACA allies out of Banga despite massive strafing by Russian helicopter gunships.

“Russian helicopters also dropped bombs on the Cameroonian side of the border wounding three persons and forcing people to abandon their houses,” a source in the eastern province of Cameroon told HumAngle.

Casualty figures could not be ascertained as of the time of reporting but the FACA military high command in Bangui says there were deaths on both the rebel side and among the Russian mercenaries.

During the course of the fighting, Russian reinforcements sent in from Bombo fell into a rebel ambush resulting in an unspecified number of Russian mercenaries being killed.

Information from Banga says hostilities resumed last night and fighting is still going on as this report is being filed.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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