3 July 2013

Central African Republic: Six Killed In Clashes With CAR Soldiers

Calm has now returned to the Central African Republic, CAR capital, Bangui after deadly weekend clashes between members of Séléka or the new National Army and residents of the northern suburb of Gobongo, following the death of a student.

Meanwhile, the government over the weekend announced the sacking of Gen. Mohamed Dhaffane, a Séléka member and Minister of Forestry over alleged corruption, fraud and recruitment of fighters.

The AFP news agency reported that the clashes on June 28, 2013 claimed six lives and injured 25 others after the body of the student of the National School of Arts, kidnapped a day earlier in class by soldiers, was discovered. Two soldiers were among those killed. Young Gobongo residents are said to have erected road blocks and burnt tyres on the highway. In reaction, soldiers are said to have opened fired on the demonstrators, killing one person.

Further shooting, accompanied by looting, spread to the rest of the city, leading to the death of at least five other people, the Director of the Bangui Community Hospital, Romain Guitizia, said. He however warned that the casualty figure could rise as more injured people were still being brought in. The wounded were taken to the Friendship Hospital and Bangui Community Hospital.

Radio Ndéké Luka quoted Marius Cyriaque Koleko, a director in the Gobongo Protestant Youth Centre in Gobongo as saying the centre was looted by Séléka and 15 computers taken away. The nearby Bible Society of Central Africa also lost Bibles, computers, office material and equipment to the rampaging troops. Meanwhile, the MLPC party of opposition leader, Martin Ziguélé on Saturday, June 29, 2013 condemned the incident, calling on soldiers to submit themselves to the control of CAR's transitional authorities to avoid further bloodshed.

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