Armed ViolenceNews

Many Feared Dead In Ongoing Clashes Between UN Forces And Rebels In CAR

Several fighters have been reported dead in the ongoing clashes between soldiers of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

According to local security sources, the MINUSCA soldiers involved in the fighting are of the Moroccan, Rwandan and Gabonese contingents.

Casualties have been reported on both sides, sources said.

The same sources reveal that the fighting which is still raging as of the time this report was being filed was taking place 15 kilometres from Bangassou on the Gambo highway around the Mbari bridge.

The CPC rebels who are heavily armed have been confronting the MINUSCA forces who have been trying to block their (rebels’) progress towards the town of Bangassou.

Latest reports say the fighting, which started around 16 hours on Monday, has already resulted in the deaths of three soldiers from within the ranks of MINUSCA and eight rebel fighters. The casualties may be higher in the final count, our sources said.

The fighting is still going on and tension is at its peak within the periphery of Bangassou town.

Last week, the CPC rebels who had been occupying the town of Bangassou since Jan. 3, 2021, had abandoned the town to MINUSCA forces after holding it for two weeks.

The CPC rebels seem to have decided that they made a mistake by allowing MINUSCA forces to overrun the town and so have decided to re-take it. This has sparked off renewed violent clashes currently going on in the outlying areas of the town.

“The ferocity with which the MINUSCA forces have been fighting the CPC rebels is an indication that the Blue Helmets would no longer tolerate the permissiveness of the rebel coalition that was formed to support the former head of state Francois Bozize,” said a UN official who did not want to be named because he is not authorized to speak on behalf of MINUSCA.

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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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