17 February 2017

Central African Republic: Rival Rebel Groups Kill CAR Civilians

Photo: Zack Baddorf/voa
A family uses tarps taken from a refugee camp to get shelter from the sun, with bricks for rebuilding their homes all around them in the PK5 neighborhood of Bangui.

Kinshasa — TENSIONS between rebel groups in the troubled Central African Republic have left scores dead in recent days. Rights groups confirmed rebels from the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC), recently executed 25 people in Bakala after calling them to a school for an allegedmeeting.

UPC fighters also executed seven men who were returning from work at a nearby gold mine. At least 29 other civilians have been killed in fighting around Bakala since late November.

The fighting in Bakala and the surrounding area displaced between 9 000 and 10 000 people. The violations are an aftermath of tensions between the UPC and the Popular Front for the Renaissance in the Central African Republic (FPRC),another rebel group drawn from the predominantly Muslim Seleka fighters. Rebel fighters are killing people on suspicion of belonging to rival groups. Lewis Mudge, Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, said these executions by UPC were brazen war crimes. "The group is carrying out its killing sprees with no fear of punishment,despite the presence of United Nations peacekeepers."

The UN peacekeeping force in the country, the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), has 12 870 armed members and a temporary base in Mourouba. The Central African Republic has been in crisis since late 2012, when mostly Muslim Seleka rebels opened a military campaign against the government of Francois Bozizé. - CAJ News

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