20 March 2018

Central African Republic: NGOs Flee After Rebels Run Riot

Bangui — HUMANITARIAN groups have suspended operations in volatile parts of the Central African Republic (CAR) as militia violently protests the killing of a rebel leader and arrest of another.

The skirmishes have been reported in the refugee sites at Bangassou and Bria and in the southeastern Mbomou Province where the United Nations Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) has made breakthroughs against rebels.

Militants of the group called Auto-defenses (AD) have been agitated by the killing of their leader after combat with the MINUSCA.

This led to exchanges of fire around the refugee site between suspected AD and the peacekeepers.

The UN Mission said following the increasingly precarious security context, humanitarian activity has been considerably reduced in Bangasso.

Some staff have relocated to the capital Bangui.

In Bria the arrest of a rebel leader has sparked mayhem leading to the suspension of humanitarian activities.

Protests by some refugees, including members of the defendant faction, have been observed on and around the refugee site.

Angry militia has erected barricades on the adjacent public road that provides access to the MINUSCA base.

"Humanitarian actors intervening on the site had to temporarily suspend their activities following the threats of reprisals received from certain armed men on the said site," said a MINUSCA spokesperson.

Last week, members of an armed group forced a humanitarian team returning to its base to carry a corpse and unknown people in their vehicle to a local mosque.

"This incident severely affected the humanitarian personnel concerned," said the MINUSCA spokesperson.

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