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Central Africa

Bangui Under Tension After Rebel Offensive

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The Security situation in Central Africa can be described as tense and unpredictable because anything is capable of happening as the rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) attacked Bangui on Wednesday January 13.

This was the first time since the start of their offensive to prevent the re-election of Faustin-Archange Touadéra, re-elected for a second term on January 4, the rebels attacked the capital Bangui.

According to reports on ground, the offensive began at dawn, 9 and 12 km from the centre of the capital, when army brigades were simultaneously attacked, authorities said.

“Thanks to the bravery of our forces and the bilateral support, we have been able to repel the attackers who are currently in disarray,” said the Minister of the Interior, Henri Wanzet-Linguissara.

Prime Minister Firmin Ngrebada, for his part, referred to a provisional toll of “30 attackers killed” and “5 captured”, without specifying whether it concerns Bangui or the entire territory.

Rwandan peacekeeper Killed

“The attack was repelled by the Blue Helmets, together with the Central African armed forces,” declared Vladimir Monteiro, spokesperson for the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca), who deplores the loss of a Rwandan peacekeeper.

The UN force “strongly condemns the attacks by the anti-Balaka, UPC, 3R and MPC coalition armed groups and their political allies, in particular former President François Bozizé,” added Vladimir Monteiro.

“Several rebels have been captured, more than a dozen have been killed,” added UN peacekeeper spokesman Abdoulaziz Fall.

On Wednesday morning in the PK12 market where the offensive took place, traders immediately closed shop.

Regular forces, Russian paramilitaries and peacekeepers were present in large numbers, along with several armored vehicles.

By late afternoon, sporadic gunfire was still ringing in several neighborhoods. The government spoke of “search operations” and helicopters were engaged against rebels hidden in the hills, according to several humanitarian sources.

The Minusca force said it had taken measures to strengthen the protection of Bangui and prevent rebel infiltration.

“What the rebels have understood is that the international community is measuring the crisis in the Central African Republic from what is happening in Bangui,” analyzes Frenchman Roland Marchal, researcher at the International Research Center (CERI) of Sciences Po Paris.

This is why they are carrying out actions in the immediate outskirts of Bangui, not to take Bangui which is very defended, but to show that Touadéra no longer controls anything or much.

“The rebels are waging a war of nerves,” said Thierry Vircoulon of the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri). They can engage in urban guerrilla warfare and hope that in the long run they will take Bangui. ”

A lifting of the arms embargo requested In New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Security Council, in a unanimous statement, “strongly” condemned attacks by unidentified armed fighters.

António Guterres and the Council, which held a closed-door meeting on the Central African Republic at the request of France, also called on “all parties to end the violence and engage in constructive dialogue.”

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Central Africa

Two Congolese Soldiers Killed By Angry Mob

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A Congolese soldier has been killed by an angry mob in the DRC’s Ruwenzori sector, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu).

The DRC military FARDC confirmed that one of its soldiers was killed by the population on Tuesday in the village of Mighende.

According to the military spokesperson in the region, the victim was attached to the 313rd Battalion based in Bulongo. The slain soldier was mistaken for a Ugandan rebel ADF fighter.

The incidence took place ten kilometers east of the commune of Lume, in the Ruwenzori sector, in the territory of Beni (North Kivu).

Details indicate that the soldier was mobbed by young people who threw at him stones and sticks until he was eliminated. This soldier is the second victim of mob justice in the same village in the 24 hour interval.

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Central Africa

Former Seleka Group Leader Says François Bozizé Heads Rebel Coalition CPC

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Noureddine Adam, the Former number two of the Seleka rebel group in Central African Republic has given a hint on what to make of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), whose troops attacked Bangui Capital on January 13.

Noureddine Adam was known as a member of the Emir of Abu Dhabi’s security service, boss of a security company in the United Arab Emirates, leader of the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace or number two of the Séléka and at the head of the Popular Front for the Renaissance of the Central African Republic (FPRC).

Now there is a new Noureddine Adam, son of an Imam and a trained policeman, at the heart of the new Central African rebel organization: the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).

It was partly on his orders that the CPC troops launched a series of attacks on Bangui on January 13, in order to further increase the pressure on President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, whose re-election on the 27th last December is contested.

Did the CPC really aim to conquer the capital? What are his relations with François Bozizé? Does it have the means to hold out against Minusca, the Russians and the Rwandans? And, if so, what would it do with power?

Noureddine Adam, who lives in hiding between Sudan and its strongholds of Birao and Ndele, in the north of the Central African Republic, was interviewed by Jeune Afrique.

What is the current objective of the Coalition of Patriots for Change, which attacked Bangui on January 13?

Noureddine Adam: The objectives of the CPC remain those which were clearly stated in the Kamba-Kota declaration of December 15, 2020: restore security throughout the territory, restore the sovereignty of the State within the borders and on all of its natural and economic resources, guarantee each citizen the freedom to come and go without hindrance, to engage in his economic activities … In a word: develop the country and lift the Central African out of poverty and precariousness.

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Central Africa

MINUSCA Troops Retake Rebel-Held City In Central African Republic

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UN peacekeeping troops say they have retaken control of a city in the Central African Republic captured two weeks ago by armed groups waging an offensive against President Faustin Archange Touadera’s regime.

Rebels abandonded their positions in Bangassou, 750 kilometres east of the capital Bangui, and fled the city following an ultimatum on Friday from the UN peacekeeping force MINUSCA, the force’s spokesman Vladimir Monteiro said late Saturday.

“The city of Bangassou is under the complete control of MINUSCA,” Monteiro added.

Armed groups waging a nationwide offensive captured the city on January 3, forcing many residents to flee to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“It’s a great joy,” Juan Jose Aguirre, the bishop of Bangassou, told media following the UN operation to regain control of the city.

“After thirteen days sleeping outdoors, people will be able to return to their homes,” he added.

Lieutenant Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall, spokesman for MINUSCA’s military component, said the UN force intervened to stop attempts at looting overnight Friday to Saturday.

“The situation is calm and under control and positions that had been occupied by armed groups are no longer,” Fall said.

Six of the most powerful armed groups, who have occupied roughly two-thirds of the country for eight years, united a month ago to wage an offensive.

The coalition announced their offensive ahead of the December 27 presidential and legislative vote, aimed at preventing Touadera’s re-election.

Landlocked CAR is one of the world’s poorest nations and has seen a string of coups and wars since it gained independence from France in 1960.

 

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