Central African Republic: Operation Launched to Rid the Country of Rebels

Rebels in Central African Republic (file photo)..

Bangui — PEACEKEEPING forces have reinforced security to thwart deadly attacks west of the Central African Republic (CAR) where 34 civilians were recently killed.

The rebellious Return, Reclamation and Rehabilitation (3R) has accepted responsibility for the deaths in the villages in Lemouna and Koundjili, about 50 km from the ghost town of Paoua.

The United Nations mission in CAR (MINUSCA) has launched Operation Wegnnyen Negoye (or Operation Hammer) to respond to the crisis triggered by attacks by the armed Islamist group.

Operation Hammer is to ensure the protection of civilians in the area, prevent further attacks, clashes or retaliatory attempts and stop any movement of armed elements in the area.

"The operation provides, among other things, the establishment of temporary operational bases in certain localities," said a MINUSCA spokesperson.

The 3R last week made a public apology and said it had brought to justice three of its elements allegedly guilty of the attacks.

MINUSCA has demanded that the 3R release all the elements that played a role in the May 21 attacks and cooperate fully with the ongoing investigations.

"The mission also expects the 3R to commit to demobilize and disarm immediately," said the spokesperson.

A delegation of the UN, CAR government and the African Union Commission (AUC) last Friday met the leader of the 3R, Sidiki Abbas over worsening crisis.

Abass said he would collaborate with the judiciary in the investigations into the recent killing of civilians.

The violence was in violation to a political settlement reached in March to restore peace in the Central African country, which Russia played a key role.

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