Central African Republic: Six soldiers killed in rebel attack

The attack is the latest in the mineral-rich Central African Republic which has been mired in violence since 2013.

Central African Republic Humanitarian Crisis
Moroccan UN peacekeepers patrol the village of Cesacoba, Central African Republic, Sunday Feb. 14, 2021. [Adrienne Surprenant/AP Photo]

Rebels have killed at least six soldiers in an attack on a military outpost in southeast Central African Republic, the latest reported incident in a decade-long conflict, a local official and a hospital director have said.

Members of an alliance of armed groups known as the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) assaulted a military camp on the outskirts of Bakouma town early on Thursday morning, said a local government official who did not wish to be named for security reasons.

Six soldiers and four rebels were killed, he said.

The attack was confirmed by the head of a hospital in the nearby city of Bangassou, also on condition of anonymity, where bodies and wounded soldiers were taken.

Mineral-rich Central African Republic has been mired in violence since a coalition of mainly Muslim Seleka rebels deposed then-President Francois Bozize in 2013, sparking reprisals from mostly Christian militias.

In recent years the army, backed by United Nations peacekeepers, Russian and Rwandan troops – has been battling CPC fighters seeking to overturn the outcome of an election in December 2020 that saw President Faustin-Archange Touadéra clinch a second term.

The UN has accused all parties of abuses including summary killings, torture, conflict-related sexual violence and the use of child fighters among others.

It has lost more than 160 peacekeepers in a conflict that has displaced more than one million people.

A Special Criminal Court set up in 2015 to prosecute war crimes committed in the country kicked off its first trial last week.

Source: News Agencies