Gun­men kill 11 in CAR camp

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

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.

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