CAR cri­sis: Chad re­jects UN claims of mar­ket shoot­ing

Daily Trust - - AFRICA -

Chad has re­jected UN ac­cu­sa­tions that its troops killed 30 people and in­jured many more in an un­pro­voked at­tack in a mar­ket in the Cen­tral African Repub­lic.

In a state­ment, Chad’s govern­ment ex­pressed its in­dig­na­tion and said the al­le­ga­tion was “defam­a­tory”.

It came as UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon made a sur­prise visit to CAR in a show of sup­port for ef­forts to end the sec­tar­ian con­flict there.

Thou­sands of African and French troops are try­ing to re­store or­der. Chad has said it will pull its peace­keep­ers out of CAR in protest at the UN’s claims.

On Fri­day the UN said an in­ves­ti­ga­tion had found Cha­dian troops “opened fire on the pop­u­la­tion with­out any provo­ca­tion” in­side a busy mar­ket in Ban­gui on 29 March. Thirty people were killed and an­other 300 people were in­jured in the shoot­ing, it said.

The troops, who were re­port­edly on a mis­sion to evac­u­ate some of the city’s re­main­ing Mus­lim in­hab­i­tants, said they were at­tacked first by mili­tias.

In the year since the Mus­lim Seleka rebels ousted the CAR govern­ment last March, the coun­try has been en­gulfed by a wave of re­li­gious vi­o­lence.

Un­der re­gional pres­sure, the coun­try’s first Mus­lim leader, Pres­i­dent Michel Djo­to­dia, stepped down in Jan­uary but at­tacks have not stopped.

Thou­sands of Mus­lims, a mi­nor­ity in CAR, have been flee­ing to neigh­bour­ing Chad and Cameroon af­ter be­ing tar­geted by Chris­tian mili­tias, known as anti-balakas. Aljazeera

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