Several civilians killed in rebel attack in northeastern Central African Republic, UN says

Rebels killed six civilians and injured several others on Saturday in an attack on a village in the northeast of the unstable Central African Republic, the UN peacekeeping mission said.

“This morning at dawn, elements of the 3R (Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation) launched a large-scale attack on C. African army positions in the village of Mann,” said the spokesman for the UN’s 12,000-strong MINUSCA mission.

“Six civilians were killed and several injured,” he added.

The village is about 550 kilometers from the capital Bangui, Lieutenant Colonel Abdoulaziz Fall told AFP.

“The situation is under control and patrols are underway,” he said.

The 3R, a rebel group made up of members of the Funali ethnic group, is one of many such groups thriving in the violence-ravaged country.

CAR is the second least developed country in the world according to the UN and is still suffering from the aftermath of a brutal civil conflict that erupted in 2013.

It has been ravaged by coups and decades of dictatorship misrule since independence from France in 1960.

President Faustin Archange Touadera was reelected in December with a turnout of less than one in three voters.

Voting was hampered by armed groups – including the 3R – who controlled about two-thirds of the country at the time, and rebels launched an offensive leading up to election day.

Since then, the army, backed by UN peacekeepers, Rwandan special forces and Russian paramilitaries, has wrested much of the territory from rebel control.

UN Security Council extends arms embargo

On Thursday, the UN Security Council extended an arms embargo on the country for 12 months as members raised the alarm about the “deteriorating” situation.

The extension – which is to prevent armed groups from acquiring weapons – is much the same as the last embargo, but includes an exemption for mortars.

Russian “instructors” have been helping the CAR’s ill-equipped national army since 2018, when Moscow first admitted sending personnel to help train its besieged troops.

The Russian paramilitaries provided small arms, were exempted from the arms embargo and are credited with helping bolster the CAR military.

Last month, UN experts accused the Russian instructors of “arbitrary killings” and looting.

Moscow insists the personnel are unarmed and not involved in fighting.

Russia has recognized the deployment of about 500 instructors, but UN experts estimate it could be up to 2000.


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