People Flee Into Bushes As Rebels Enter CAR From Chad And Sudan

Rebel groups are massing in the Central African Republic, thought to be attempting to return to positions they held before being driven out by troops from the national army and their allies last year.

A large number of people have been fleeing into the bushes in the prefectures of Vakaga, Bamingui-Bangoran and Haute-Kotto of the Central African Republic following the arrival of a large number of rebels from the Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation (3R) group in the region.

A second large group of heavily-armed rebels has been observed in the northwest of the country, particularly in the Nana-Membere prefecture raising fears of impending clashes and thus forcing the populations to flee from their homes.

“We do not know where these rebels are headed but all indications are that they intend to recuperate the positions they were holding before the counter offensive by the national army and its Rwandan and Russian allies in January 2021”, a local tribal leader who opted for anonymity told HumAngle on Nov 17.

On Monday Nov 14, five kilometres from Niem in the Nana-Mambere prefecture, a column of 3R rebels affiliated to the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) was spotted and their presence in the locality sparked off panic within the population who were seen fleeing into the bushes.

According to the local population, the rebels were intending to launch an attack against soldiers of the Central African Republic national army, FACA.

Some hours later, still in the prefecture of Nana-Mambere, near the town of Boaro, another column of 3R rebels was seen which also created panic among the population.

For now, no gunfire has been heard in Vakaga, nor in Bamingui-Bangoran in Haute-Kotto or in Nana-Mambere and no clashes have as yet been reported.

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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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