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Africa

Seven rebels killed in clashes in CAR capital

Mob kills disarmed Seleka fighters in Bangui amid tensions between group and residents of Central African Republic city.

Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 00:18
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Nearly 20 people were killed in clashes between residents and Seleka ex-rebel fighters over the weekend [Reuters]

A mob in Bangui has killed seven fighters, all members of the Seleka group which ousted Francois Bozize last month, in the former Central African Republic (CAR) president's electoral district.

"Seven Seleka members who had been disarmed by military police were killed and five wounded on Monday evening and Tuesday morning in Boy-Rabe by armed men and civilians," General Ousman Mahamat told reporters.

The fighters had earlier been disarmed by the army in a bid to restore order to the northern Boy-Rabe neighbourhood - the scene of repeated pillaging and violence, Mahamat said on Tuesday.

He added that one of the victims had had his skull shattered by a large stone.

Nearly 20 people were killed in clashes between residents and Seleka fighters in the capital over the weekend.

The clashes occurred as the Seleka fighters, who took control of the capital last month, were searching for hidden weapons, according to one police official.

I call all on parties involved in the crisis ... to put an end to the prevailing insecurity and violence plaguing the country.

Navi Pillay, UN Commissioner for Human Rights

With tension bubbling in Boy-Rabe, authorities had been talking to residents and religious leaders to "find common ground" and calm the situation, Mahamat said.

According to residents, the neighbourhood, along with many other areas of
Bangui, has suffered rampant looting by men, many of whom claimed to be from Seleka.

A UN spokesperson said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned "Seleka's acts of violence against the civilian population".

Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said cases of targeted killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, recruitment of children, rapes, disappearances and kidnappings had been reported since the rebel takeover.

"I call all on parties involved in the crisis ... to put an end to the prevailing insecurity and violence plaguing the country," she said.

Political transition

CAR's Red Cross say at least 119 people have been killed since since Bozize's overthrow.

Around 37,000 people have fled the country, and tens of thousands more have been displaced by the violence, according to the UN.  

In recent days, CAR's government has appointed a special council headed by an opposition leader to guide the impoverished and unstable nation through a political transition.

The 105-member council will act as a constituent assembly and take on legislative responsibilities normally carried out by parliament.

It will comprise members from across the political spectrum as well as union, judicial and religious figures.

On Saturday the council named Michel Djotodia, who took power in the March 24 coup, interim president for a period of no more than 18 months.

He has vowed to uphold a peace deal that promises elections within three years.

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Source:
Agencies
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