CAR forces kill scores of rebels as tensions rise

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About 44 rebels in the Central African Republic who were trying to block the capital Bangui and overthrow the authorities have been killed by government forces, the government said on Monday.

Rebels have been protesting the re-election of President Faustin-Archange Touadera.

Following the January 4 announcement of Touadera’s victory, the rebel coalition said they would take the capital. They had also taken towns in other parts of the country before the election.

The CAR declared a state of emergency on January 22 as the army and UN forces try to restrain the rebel groups.

Meanwhile, the anti-government fighters, who now control two-thirds of the country, have surrounded the capital.

The UN envoy has warned that the CAR is “at grave risk.”

The authorities have accused former President François Bozizé, who was stopped from running in the election, for the increasing violence.

Bozizé, who was in office in 2003 and was overthrown a decade later, denied the allegations.

“The perpetrators… of these unforgettable crimes against the people of CAR will be found, arrested and brought before the competent courts,” President Touadéra said on Monday.

The army is also supported in its battle against the rebels by forces from Rwanda, Russia, France and the United Nations.

At least 100,000 civilians have been displaced from their homes since December due to the fighting, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said.

 

Olajumoke Adeleke

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