Armed ViolenceNews

Five Dead, Seven Wounded In Clashes Between Armed Groups In CAR

Five persons were killed and seven others seriously wounded Saturday after two clashes erupted among armed groups in Upper Kotto, Central Africa Republic, HumAngle reports.

Goula and Rounga fighters were reported to have attacked Unite pour la Paix en Centrafrique (UPC) emplacements 

“On November 21, there were clashes between an undetermined number of combined Goula and Rounga fighters against a combined group of armed Arabs and Peuls in Aigbando, 70 kilometres in the northwest of Bria on the Ndele highway causing no casualties,” military sources revealed.

However, the leader of the UPC, Ali Darrassa, on the contrary, disclosed that five of his fighters were killed and seven others seriously wounded while officials of the Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique (FPRC) claimed that the said clashes were a “simple incident” at a mining site.

An FPRC official declared that “Tension at a mining site in the village of Aigbando situated 70 kilometres from Bria on the Kpata highway between the civilian population and armed men of the FPRC resulted in two persons being wounded”.

Independent sources on the ground told HumAngle that a turbaned individual of Rounga extraction on a motorbike from Ndele town was intercepted at a checkpoint controlled by some Arabs and Peuls in the village of Aigbando. 

After normal checking formalities, the motorbike rider was asked to remove his turban so that he could be identified but the man refused to do so, one of the sources said.

He said this categorical refusal led to gunshots that attracted the attention of some heavily armed individuals who arrived the scene and completely destroyed the checkpoint. 

“The men later entered the town and started attacking Arabs and Peuls leading to the death of five persons while seven others were wounded.”

The wounded persons are being treated at the Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) clinic in Bria, HumAngle learnt. 

A peace mission was Sunday dispatched to the locality with a view to bringing calm to the town.

Ali Darrassa on his part insists the positions of his fighters were attacked in Upper Kotto and is threatening a counter military attack.

Observers of the situation told HumAngle in Bria on Tuesday that such incidents were the results of hate language posted on social media by members of the various armed groups operating in Upper Kotto.

It should be recalled that just a few days ago, Ali Darrassa had deployed his Peuls fighters in several localities in Upper Kotto while a forum for reconciliation between the different communities under the auspices of the head of state Faustin Archange Touadera was going on in Bangui, the capital.

At the end of the forum, against all expectations, rebel leader Mahamat Al Khatim accused armed groups in the north of having concluded an accord with the government with the sole objective of attacking Arab and Peul positions on the ground.

This forced government to publish a communiqué November 19, 2020, refuting the allegation.

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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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