25 killed as violence grips Central African Republic town

UN calls for immediate end to renewed violence between Muslim Seleka militia and Christian vigilante groups.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

The Central African Republic descended into conflict in 2013 when the Seleka rebels overthrew president Francois Bozize.

At least 25 people were killed in clashes between armed groups in the Central African Republic, the UN peacekeeping mission to the country said on Saturday.

According to MINUSCA, the UN peacekeeping mission to the Central African Republic, 15 people were killed on Thursday in the communities of Mbriki and Belima on the outskirts of the central town of Bambari after fighting broke out between the former Muslim Seleka militia and Christian vigilante groups known as "anti-balaka" (anti-machete).

And on Friday, six police and four civilians were killed in an ambush.

The UN mission appealed to the two militia groups behind the clashes to respond to an invitation by President Faustin-Archange Touadera for talks.

"Six gendarmes and four civilians lost their lives on Friday morning in an ambush on the Bambari-Grimari road. The day before, clashes between elements of the anti-Balaka and ex-Seleka caused 15 deaths and a number of wounded," MINUSCA said.

It called on the armed groups to end "the cycle of attack and reprisal."

Thousands of people have been displaced in the Central African Republic since 2013. [AFP]

There was no immediate comment from the government or the militia groups.

Central African Republic has been plagued by inter-religious and inter-communal violence since 2013 when the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels deposed president Francois Bozize.

Seleka's rule prompted a backlash from the mostly Christian and anti-balaka militia. Seleka leader Michel Djotodia bowed to international pressure and went into exile in January in 2014.

The level of violence has reduced since an election in February that brought President Faustin-Archange Touadéra to power and was touted as a step toward reconciliation but it remains frequent.

TRTWorld and agencies