Regain of tension in Bangui after the beginning of a military operation against armed groups

 

Regain of tension in Bangui after the beginning of a military operation against armed groups

Central African forces and peacekeepers have launched an action to dismantle the bases of the militia present in the PK5 district.

An attack on the UN mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca) on the night of Sunday 8 to Monday 9 April in the center of Bangui, said Monday a spokesman for the UN underlined that the Central African institutions have not been targeted.

Exchanges of heavy fire had taken place between an armed group and blue helmets in the Boy-Rabe neighborhood. Gunshots were fired Sunday evening between 11 pm (local time) and 11:40 pm, as “an armed group arrived at Ndeke Luka radio next to the road leading to the president’s residence” Faustin -Archange Touadéra, told AFP a security source, stating: “The group was repulsed by Egyptian peacekeepers. “

“False UN vehicle”

“There was an attack of half an hour that targeted the Minusca exclusively, said Monday Vladimir Monteiro, spokesman for the UN mission, Agence France-Presse. We are seeing who was behind […]. We fought back and sent reinforcements. It was not an attack on a Central African institution. “

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The city center of the capital had not seen any action of an armed group since the election of Faustin-Archange Touadéra at the head of the Central African Republic in 2016.

“The attackers came on a motorcycle and with a fake UN vehicle, told AFP a local resident. According to another, “there was an exchange of fire between the Egyptian peacekeepers and the attackers”. They were not identified Monday and the attack was not claimed. No balance sheet has been reported.

Two dead and 56 wounded

The clash comes as the UN mission in Central Africa (Minusca) and Central African forces on Sunday launched a joint operation targeting another Bangui neighborhood, PK5, to dismantle armed groups.

At least two people were killed and 56 injured during the first day of the operation, according to the United Nations and medical sources. Eleven blue helmets, mostly Egyptians, are among the wounded, told AFP Hervé Verhoosel, a spokesman for Minusca.

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Aimed at “the basis of certain criminal groups”, this “joint operation”, which started at 2 am on Sunday, “is not over” and will continue “until the goal is reached,” Mr. Verhoosel at the end of the afternoon.

Eight people belonging to the “General” Force or “50/50” armed groups, killed in 2016, were arrested by Minusca, who also seized drugs and ammunition after taking control of their homes. bases said the spokesman.

Repeated violence

The joint action of the UN mission and Central African forces follows a resurgence of violence for several months in the PK5, the predominantly Muslim neighborhood and economic hub of the Central African capital, which was relatively unaffected in recent months. A week ago, a blue-helmet patrol was shot at by an armed group, wiping gunshots.

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In mid-February, after repeated violence, the PK5 merchants’ association demanded that Minusca dismantle these militias, accused of violence and abuse against the population. At the end of March, the UN mission threatened, according to concordant sources, to dismantle their bases established in the district if they did not lay down their arms.

The PK5 has often been at the heart of the tensions in the capital and the last Muslim populations of the city live there entrenched.