Civilians Die In Anti-Balaka, UPC Rebels Clash In Central African Republic

The clash resulted in the death of at least 10 civilians in the Central African Republic, with several others wounded on both the Anti-Balaka and the UPC rebels side.

At least 10 civilians died on Friday, Jan. 14, following a violent clash between an Anti-Balaka faction loyal to Central African Republic President, Faustin Archange Touadera, and rebels of the Unite pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) in Yagoundaba village, situated between Ippy town and Kolo village in Ouaka prefecture.

Civil society sources informed HumAngle that the “damage was enormous.”

“It was around midday on Friday when several tens of rebels of the UPC based somewhere at the entrance into Yagoundaba village left their base and took positions five kilometres away on the Kolo highway following intelligence they received from one of their informants,” a source narrated.

“They were hoping to surprise the Anti-Balaka militia faction loyal to President Touadera who were on their way to attack the UPC base. Unfortunately, news of their arrival got to the Anti-Balaka who appropriately prepared for them (UPC).”

Sources say the casualties were mostly on the side of the Anti-Balaka while several others were wounded.

HumAngle learnt that four persons who were injured were taken to a health facility in Kolo.

“Three of the dead Anti-Balaka fighters were from Ippy while several others are still reported missing. It would take some days to determine the actual number of dead and wounded as the search for the missing is still going on right now,” one of the sources said. 

The pro-Touadera Anti-Balaka militia was created by Russian mercenaries to fight and eventually capture rebel leader Ali Darassa believed to be hiding within the periphery in Bambari and Ippy.

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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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