Armed ViolenceNews

Central African Republic Forces, Rebels In Fierce Fighting

Fighting broke out Thursday morning between rebels and government forces in Berberati town of Central African Republic.

Fierce fighting started on Thursday morning, March 4, between the rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) and Central African Republic national army known as FACA, supported by their Rwandan and Russian allies, in the village of Babaza situated 30 kilometres from Berberati on the Kenzo highway.

In the last 24 hours, villagers along the Babaza-Berberati highway have deserted their houses and fled into the bushes as the fighting continues.

According to local sources in the area, the fighting started Thursday morning when FACA soldiers and their allies attacked the positions of the CPC in Babaza. The CPC combatants had been occupying the zone for over one week now.

“FACA forces and their allies have taken full control of Babaza and are advancing towards the village of Nassoule situated fifty kilometres to the point where CPC rebels have set up a barricade blocking circulation on the Berberati-Kenzo corridor,” a civil society activist in Berberati told HumAngle.

“No reliable casualty figures are available for now but there have been deaths on both sides.” The FACA troops and their Rwandan and Russian allies arrived at Berberati on Tuesday March and were warmly welcomed by the local population.

Since Feb. 7, circulation on the Berberati-Kenzo highway has been perturbed by the CPC rebels who have been trying to block the Bangui-Beloko road. The road is important because it is a supply route bringing commodities from Cameroon.

The CPC rebels are currently camped in Bonewala, about 35 kilometres from the town of Gamboula, making life very difficult for the inhabitants as they have stopped the flow of basic necessities to the villagers thus creating a scarcity that has forced prices to skyrocket.

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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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