CAR: MINUSCA Worried Over Increase In Explosive Device Use By Rebels

MINUSCA has expressed worries over the disturbing increase in the use of improvised explosive devices by rebels, especially in the northwest of the country.

The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic, (MINUSCA),  has expressed worries over the disturbing increase in the use of improvised explosive devices by rebels, especially in the northwest of the country.

Zouhair El Kandoussi, the spokesperson of the UN forces, who addressed a press conference on Thursday Jan. 13 in Bangui, said “five explosive engines had been discovered, two of which did not explode while three exploded on Central African Republic army and MINUSCA vehicles” since the beginning of the year 2022.

He also disclosed that two explosive engines had been found near Babaza on Dec. 31, 2021, and one other was discovered in Nzakoundou on Jan. 2, 2022. 

Two other explosive engines destroyed MINUSCA vehicles near Bohong on Dec. 30 and 31, 2021. 

“It is estimated that members of the 3R group placed these explosive engines to target FACA and MINUSCA vehicles,” he noted, adding that elements of MINUSCA would henceforth anticipate these tactics during eventual attacks by the 3R group.

“MINUSCA relentlessly continues to work towards returning peace and stability in the Central African Republic and perpetrators of war crimes will be brought before the competent judicial authorities,” the military spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Guy Kerema, the MINUSCA communication head, harped on the concerns expressed by Denise Brown, the Assistant Special Representative of the Secretary General and Resident Humanitarian Coordinator, on the degrading security and humanitarian situation in the prefecture of Ouaka, notably in Boyo after a visit to the locality on Jan. 6.

According to Brown, “different armed elements have entered into Boyo and there are allegations of assassinations, of houses being destroyed, of materials seized and stocks of seeds stolen.”

The UN official insisted on the respect of civilians during armed conflicts.

He noted that schools have not been operating for the past two years in the locality because of insecurity, and that even the health centre is faced with a serious lack of drugs.

“MINUSCA has deployed the Nepalese contingent which has done an excellent job in controlling the extremely complicated conflict situation by protecting the population,” he added.

Speaking on the human rights situation in the country, Guy Karema revealed that the UN mission had documented seven incidents of abuse and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law affecting at least 15 victims between Jan. 4 and 10, 2022.

“On these should also be added ten alleged incidents representing fourteen violations of human rights and humanitarian rights affecting twenty-one victims,” Karema indicated, adding that “the totality of incidents, violations and victims documented this week are attributable to state actors, with the exception of eight victims in Nana-Mambere who lost their lives or were wounded by stray bullets during clashes between state actors and armed groups.”

On his part, Serge Ntolo Minko,  the spokesperson of the MINUSCA police, saluted the collaboration between the United Nations Police and the Central African Republic internal security forces which permitted the quick control on Jan. 7, 2022 of an incident at the 3rd Bangui district, following the arrest of a businessman, which also  occasioned the death of two persons and about five others being wounded.

“The high command of MINUSCA, through their constituted police units and the individual police officers, together with their other colleagues continue daily and nightly patrols on different arteries, roundabouts and sensible zones of the town of Bangui and in the regions in order to guarantee the security of the populations,” the UN police official declared.

Minko recalled that the UN Police had organised three training sessions for 90 Central African Republic police and gendarmes within the context of reinforcing their capacities.

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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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