This morning, around 6 o’clock, in Bangui, the position of Minusca at kilometer point 12 was attacked by armed elements ”and triggered“ an immediate response, before reinforcements were sent on the spot, no casualties were to be found. deplore the Minusca side, ”Lieutenant-Colonel Fall told Agence France-Presse. “The exchange of fire has declined but the situation remains tense,” he added two hours after the outbreak of the attack. Concern has been growing for a few weeks and the fighting has escalated. The rebels leading an offensive against the regime of the newly re-elected Central African President Faustin Archange Touadéra launched two simultaneous attacks on Wednesday at the entrance to Bangui which were repulsed, Interior Minister Henri Wanzet told AFP. Linguissara.
Two rebel attacks repulsed at the entrance to Bangui
These two attacks were confirmed to AFP by officials of the United Nations mission in the Central African Republic (Minusca), on condition of anonymity, while the spokesperson for the peacekeepers in the country, Lieutenant-Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall , referred to “an attack” and still ongoing clashes. These are the first clashes at the gates of Bangui since the rebels announced an offensive almost a month ago. At respectively 9 and 12 km from the center of the capital, at dawn, army brigades “were attacked simultaneously but, thanks to the bravery of our forces and bilateral support, we were able to repel the attackers who were currently in disarray ”, assured the Minister of the Interior.
It all started on December 19, eight days before the presidential and legislative elections, a coalition of six of the most powerful armed groups who have occupied two-thirds of the Central African Republic since the start of the civil war eight years ago, an offensive announced. to prevent the re-election of President Faustin Archange Touadéra, elected for the first time in 2015. The latter was declared re-elected on January 4 after a ballot highly contested by the opposition, for which only one in two registered voters had the vote. opportunity to go to the polls due to insecurity outside Bangui.
The rebels of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) had, until then, carried out sporadic attacks generally repulsed by the peacekeepers supported by large contingents heavily armed of Rwandan soldiers and Russian paramilitaries freshly disembarked to the rescue of the government. and his army. Until then, these attacks had mainly taken place in towns and villages far from the capital. Thus in Grimari on Tuesday, 300 km north-east of Bangui, “the armed elements of the CPC launched an attack against the Central African forces and the Minusca, using mortar shells in particular, against the base” of the Burundian peacekeepers, assured Lieutenant-Colonel Fall. The clashes did not claim any casualties but “more than 350 civilians are currently under the protection of Burundian soldiers”, he added.