42 killed in clashes in Central African Republic

During renewed violence in Central African Republic 42 people have been killed and at least 150 injured, says Doctors without Borders (MSF)

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Fighters from the Christian “anti-balaka” militia stand at their headquarters in the northern Bangui.

Fighting between Muslim and Christian armed groups in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui since Saturday has left 42 people killed and 150 wounded, Emmanuel Lampaert, MSF head of mission in Central African Republic in Bangui, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.

Lampaert also indicated that "It's very sad to see violence of such a scale occur once again, as we haven't experienced anything like this since October last year. We continue to monitor the situation closely in case violence would erupt again.”

The UN Refugee Agency spokesperson Leo Dobbs on the other hand said in a briefing “All sides should urgently allow humanitarian organizations access to areas hosting the newly displaced.”

Besides, nearly 500 prisoners, mainly anti-Balaka Christian militias, are announced to have escaped from jail, in Bangui.

“The government asks the population not to cede to the manipulation of extremists who are seeking to set the country on fire to satisfy their selfish political ambitions” Central African Republic's Security Minister Dominique Said Paguindji declared on state radio.

Dominique Said Paguindji blamed the recent violence on both anti-Balaka (Christian and animist militias) and Seleka groups as well as supporters of the former President Francois Bozize, who'd like to see him in the office again.

"These armed groups don't subscribe to a logic of disarmament and want to split the country," Paguindji said and added "all of these people have the same interest in wanting to see the transition ruined and the coming elections halted."

The conflicts were reportedly sparked by the murder of a Muslim man, whose dead body was left outside a mosque on Friday.

Thousands of Central Africans have died and hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes, following two-years of violence.

Voters will elect a new government when they go to the polls on October 18. However, the election is expected to be delayed again and some analysts say that transitional authorities should first focus on making more progress on disarmament.

TRTWorld and agencies