Fresh fighting in CAR kills seven
BANGUI: At least seven people were killed when fresh fighting erupted yesterday between Muslim rebels and Christian vigilante groups in the Central African Republic (CAR) capital of Bangui, despite the presence of French and African soldiers.
About five other people were injured, witnesses reported.
Hundreds of residents marched through Bangui’s Gobongo neighbourhood yesterday to protest against civilian killings.
“Interim President Michel Djotodia and his Seleka rebels must go,” banners read.
Late on Thursday, at least 15 civilians – most of them Christians – were killed in sectarian violence in Gobongo, said the president of the Red Cross in CAR, Antoine Mbao Bogo.
US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, who paid a surprise visit to CAR on Thursday, told journalists she had urged the government to “find the perpetrators of the violence and bring them before the International Criminal Court.”
Earlier this week, Amnesty International warned that clashes this month had already claimed in excess of 1 000 lives, more than three times what had been previously reported.
France has sent 1 600 troops to CAR, which has been plunged into crisis since the Islamist Seleka coalition rose up against the government in December last year and overthrew president François Bozizé, a Christian, in March.
Djotodia has been struggling to restore law and order in the country, despite the support of more than 3 500 AU peacekeepers.
About 400 000 of CAR’s 4.5 million people have been displaced and scores of civilians killed. – Sapa-dpa