Unknown muggers abduct three top peace negotiators in CAR

Unknown assailants abduct top rebel negotiators in Central African Republic, after attending peace talk to reach ceasefire deal

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Seleka has said it was open to negotiations with African leaders to resolve the crisis

Three top members of Union for Peace in Central Africa Republic (UPC), were abducted by unidentified muggers on Monday, after attending a peace talk organized by the interim President Catherine Samba-Panza's government.    

The three abducted men went missing and a fourth member escaped with serious injuries after their vehicle was attacked in a neighbourhood controlled by their rival anti-balaka militia, according to the UPC source.        

"Four members of the delegation went to the base of the French peacekeeping force this morning. They were returning in a taxi when they were ambushed," said General Mohamed Dhaffane, head of another faction of Seleka.

Sebastien Wenezoui, representative of the anti-balaka faction, also serving as environment minister, in the government said, radical Seleka fighters may have plotted the abduction following the UPC resistance on efforts to mount an attack on Bangui this month. 

The abducted men included the UPC's spokesman Ahmat Nejad and its secretary-general, Ahssan Bouba.

The UPC movement is made up of ethnic Peuhl fighters, which is active at the central town of Bambari and regarded as a moderate grouping among the Seleka.

The attack, could undermine efforts to achieve a ceasefire deal that would pave the way for presidential elections which France and its international alliance are seeking.

Six of its top members were in Bangui since Friday, to attend a peace negotiations convened after a sectarian violence was erupted last month.  

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.





TRTWorld and agencies