Armed ViolenceNews

Fear Grips CAR Town As Rebels Move Closer

FACA troops and allies prepare for a face-off as CPC rebels move into town.

There is palpable fear in Berberati town of the Central African Republic following confirmed reports that combatants of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) were marching to the town.

The CPC fighters’ current move follows their victory in an operation launched by the national army on their positions on Tuesday.

According to military sources, the rebels are right now in the village of Babaza, situated 30 kilometres to Berberati on the Kenzo highway.

“They are reinforcing in numbers and materials since their victory on Tuesday against the government forces, and their intention now is to capture Berberati,” the military source who refused to divulge his name for security reasons told HumAngle Wednesday evening.

Movement between Berberati and neighbouring villages has been completely paralysed, creating a climate of fear among the locals.

In the meantime, soldiers of the national army, the presidential guard, gendarmerie and the police have stepped up joint patrols in Berberati and its periphery to reassure the population of their security.

A senior military officer last night informed HumAngle that reinforcement by Russian and Rwandan mercenaries were on their way to Berberati to lend support to the national army popularly known by the French acronym FACA.

On Tuesday morning, some FACA soldiers, gendarmes and police aboard 10 heavily armed vehicles left Berberati towards CPC positions in Nassoule village and to Kenzo in Cameroon Bonewala 35 kilometres to the town of Gamboula.

The military high command intends to dislodge the CPC rebels from their bases and subsequently free the road used in bringing supplies to the Central African Republic from Cameroon, which the rebels had blocked to asphyxiate the country.

However, about five kilometres from Nassoule village, the rebels laid an ambush against the national forces leading to a violent confrontation that ended with the FACA soldiers and gendarmes and police fleeing from the front towards Berberati.

The CPC combatants are right now chasing the FACA fighters holed up in Berberati, the reason for the town’s panic.

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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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