Army, Govt Officials On The Run As Rebels Take Over Mbaika In CAR
Soldiers of the Central African Republic national army, the local administrator, the commandant of the gendarmerie and the commissioner of police in Mbaiki, chief town of the Lobaye prefecture in the country have all taken to their heels as rebels of a coalition of opposition groups on Friday invaded the town.
According to eyewitness accounts, the said military and administrative officials are currently on their way to Bangui, the capital and other localities they consider safe.
As the rebel combatants took control of the town, other rebel fighters attacked the town of Boali forcing the residents to flee into the bushes.
Among those who have fled from Boali is the former Prime Minister, Simplice Mathieu Sarandji, Executive Secretary of the ruling United Hearts Movement (UHM) party in the Central African Republic who has just arrived the Cameroonian capital Yaounde with his family.
The combatants of the said rebel coalition had earlier Friday captured the town of Boda before moving on to Mbaiki which is situated 107 kilometres from Bangui the capital.
Shortly after the residents of Mbaiki discovered that the prefect and soldiers of the national army had abandoned them to their fate, crowds invaded the official residence of the prefect looting and taking away whatever they could carry.
Even before the rebel forces could arrive the town, local administrative officials started parking their belongings to quit the town and only the intervention of the United Nations (MINUSCA) forces in the area saved the fleeing officials from being mobbed by the irate residents.
“It is a total rout here for the national army as soldiers have been abandoning their positions and fleeing into the bushes or neighbouring villages on hearing the news that the rebel forces are on their way to wherever the soldiers were stationed,” a civil society activist who opted for anonymity told HumAngle on phone this morning from Mbaiki.
“There is no military presence here anymore,” he added.
As of the time this report was being filed, the town of Mbaiki was under the control of rebel forces.
The real identity of the rebel group sending soldiers of the national army on the run was not known.
It is suspected that the rebel fighters were a spur-of-the-moment creation in support of former head of state Francois Bozize who has been barred from taking part in the December 27, 2020 presidential election in the Central African Republic.
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