Bangui — AN unspecified number of people, including a Catholic priest and children, have been killed after a clash between rival rebel groups in the Central African Republic (CAR).
The deadly confrontation between the Christian extremist Anti-Balaka and elements of the Movement for Unity and Peace in CAR (UPC) has occurred in the village of Tagbara, located 70km from Bambari in the centre of the troubled country.
The United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA) said the fighting also resulted in several injuries and a significant displacement of the civilian population. Houses were burned and property ransacked.
Last week, some UPC elements were killed and two peacekeepers were slightly injured as MINUSCA forces intervened to protect civilians during another clash between the Anti-Balaka and UPC in the southern Alindao.
Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, said UN Special Representative in the CAR, condemned the renewed violence.
The envoy reminded leaders of armed groups that attacks on civilians and peacekeepers were a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and that perpetrators would be brought to justice.
"I express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of this senseless new violence," added Onanga-Anyanga.
CAR, the landlocked country of some 5 million people, has been at war since Muslim rebel groups overthrew then-president, François Bozizé Yangouvonda, in 2013.
Half of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance.
The crisis has emanated in some 550 000 refugees and about 700 000 internally displaced people.