UN, French soldiers halt Central African Republic rebels

UN and French troops halt rebels rising in capital of Central African Republic by fighting with militants northeast of Bangui

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

U.N. peace keeping troops take part in a ceremony in the capital city of Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR),

The United Nations and French forces ended a rebel march to the capital of Central African Republic (CAR), clashing with fighters about 180 km (110 miles) northeast of Bangui, said a government spokesman.

The country’s Security Minister Dominique Said Paguindji and local people said the peace-keeping troops clashed Seleka militants in Sibut on Saturday, north of the capital Bangui, after a declaration for them to stop their march southwards expired.

However, it has not been known yet whether or not there were any dead and injured in the clashes.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs announced that at least 77 people have been killed and more than 400 others injured in clashes in the capital of CAR.

The clashes were reportedly sparked by the murder of a Muslim man, whose dead body was left outside a mosque September 25.

Thousands of Central Africans have died and hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes, following two-years of violence that erupted as the Muslim Seleka rebels came to power in the Christian dominated country in 2013.

After overthrowing President Francois Bozize, Seleka leader Michel Djotodia took over the nation as president, until he was pressured into resigning by regional leaders in 2014. Shortly after, the National Transitional Council elected Catherine Samba-Panza as the interim president.

She is the first woman to hold the post in the CAR and was welcomed by both sides, as she is non-partisan.

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