A new rebel alliance has been formed in the north of the Central African Republic.
Made up of dissidents from three rebel groups in the country's north and north-eastern regions, the insurgents launched an attack on the town of Bria yesterday, December 18, 2012, demanding the respect of agreements signed with government five years ago and the holding of what they call 'frank' national dialogue.
Radio France Internationale, RFI reported that yesterday's assault on Bria followed the capture of the town of Bamingui on Saturday, December 15, 2012. As part of their conditions for the return of peace, the alliance has put forward a 10-point list of demands to government. They include respect of the Birao Agreement between the government of President François Bozizé and UFDR rebels and the implementation of the recommendations of the last Inclusive National Dialogue.
They are also insisting on the setting up of an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Col. Charles Massi of the Convention of Patriots for Justice and Peace, CPJP and Hassan Ousman of the National Movement for Salvation of the Fatherland, MNSP. They also want the cause of the accident that took the life of human rights activist, Barrister Goungaye Wanfiyo Nganatoua, probed.
The new alliance is made up of dissidents of the Convention of Patriots For Justice and Peace, Union of Democratic Forces for Unity and the Convention of Patriots for Salvation and Kodro. A source close to the rebels said 14 government soldiers were killed and seven others taken prisoner in the attack on Bamingui. They also claim that several army vehicles were burnt and another seized in the exchange of fire. An army source confirmed the attack, adding that about 30 soldiers in the town were still unaccounted for, following the capture. Officially, the military high command is still to comment on the attack.
The fall of Bamingui came a week after that of Ndélé, Sam Ouandja and Ouadda, still under the control of rebels of Union of Democratic Forces for Unity, UFDR.