Gunmen kill 11 in CAR camp
BANGUI — Eleven people were shot dead on Saturday in a camp for displaced people in Central African Republic, the UN’s Minusca mission said, days after 30 others were killed in fresh sectarian violence
“Eleven people were killed and about 10 others taken to hospital” after an unknown number of gunmen began shooting in the camp for internally displaced people in Ngakobo, 300km northeast of the capital Bangui, a statement said. “Those responsible for these dreadful acts” have not been identified, the communique, in French, said.
Minusca, which has around 12 000 peacekeepers and police on the ground, “immediately took measures to reinforce its position around the displaced camp and to step up its patrols”, it said. On Wednesday, 30 people died and 57 others were wounded when fighters from a mainly-Muslim militia group attacked civilians and clashed with UN peacekeepers in the central town of Kaga Bandoro.
The fighters then attacked a camp for displaced people as well as NGO offices. The UN troops from Burundi and Pakistan hit back to protect civilians, killing 12 of the assailants.
The week before a dozen people died in the capital in fighting between Muslim forces and Christian vigilantes
CAR plunged into chaos after the March 2013 ousting of long-serving president Francois Bozize, a Christian, by the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel alliance — triggering revenge attacks and a spiral of atrocities in which thousands were slaughtered. The violence between Christian and Muslim groups displaced one in 10 of the country’s 4.5 million people.
After two years of bloodshed, however, CAR had appeared to be returning to normal, holding peaceful elections early this year following a visit by the pope.
But despite the presence of thousands of UN peacekeepers and a few hundred remaining French troops, tensions remain high and tens of thousands of people are still displaced and in need of aid.
Meanwhile, the first Catholic cardinal of the Central African Republic marched for peace on Wednesday as more deadly violence in the war-ravaged country left at least six people dead. The latest violence, in which between six and nine people died, occurred during fighting in the central market town of Kaga-Bandoro, security sources said.
The violence broke out when four ex-Seleka militiamen tried to steal a local radio station’s generator and launched reprisals after one of their men was killed.
“Ex-Seleka” is the term used for remnants of the supposedly disbanded alliance of mainly-Muslim armed groups which seized power in CAR in late 2013 before being chased from the capital the following year.
Faced with such deadly violence Dieudonne Nzapalainga, the Bangui archbishop who was appointed cardinal by Pope Francis at the weekend, led a march for peace in a Muslim area of the capital on Wednesday.— AFP.