[QODLink]
Africa

Chadian peacekeepers killed in CAR fighting

Spokesman says fighters from mainly Christian militia killed six soldiers in capital Bangui.

Last updated: 26 Dec 2013 16:25
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
France deployed a 1,600-strong peacekeeping mission to CAR in early December [AP]

Six Chadian peacekeepers have been killed and 15 others injured in the Central African Republic after hours of sporadic fighting, a spokesman for the African Union Peacekeeping Mission (MISCA) said.

The Chadians were attacked by fighters from the mainly Christian "anti-balaka" militia in the Gabongo neighbourhood of the capital Bangui on Wednesday, MISCA spokesman Eloi Yao told Reuters news agency.

The Chadian contingent, made up of Arabic-speaking Muslim soldiers, has been accused of siding with Muslim fighters who took control of the country through a coup nine months ago.

Five of the peacekeepers were killed immediately on Wednesday and another died on Thursday.

"The number of Chadian soldiers killed has risen to six because one of them died from his wounds this morning," Yao said.

A Reuters reporter also saw three civilian bodies on the streets of a northern neighbourhood following Wednesday's fighting.

The anti-balaka, a largely Christian militia whose name means "anti-machete", has taken up arms against the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels who seized power in March and unleashed a wave of looting, rape and massacres.

UN considering mission 

Violence eased in Bangui on Thursday as French peacekeepers assumed positions on main roads near the airport and in troubled neighbourhoods.

Thousands of people have been displaced by fighting in the city this month.

France deployed a 1,600-strong peacekeeping mission in its former colony in early December to join the 4,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission.

France's force, codenamed Sangaris, has between 1,000 and 1,200 men stationed in Bangui, with the rest deployed in the interior of the country, said Colonel Gilles Jaron, spokesman for the French military.

"The Sangaris force has not been the target of coordinated attacks," said Jaron. "We are the target of sporadic shooting which we respond to each time."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is drafting plans for a possible UN peacekeeping mission in CAR.

298

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.