A Burundian peacekeeper was killed Sunday night in Bambari, central CAR, during clashes between gunmen and UN soldiers and the CAR army, according to United Nations sources concordant.

The Burundian soldier of the Minusca was killed during the fighting and a soldier of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) wounded, told AFP a UN source in Bambari on condition of anonymity. The information was confirmed to AFP by another UN source in Bangui.

The fighting took place between 17:00 and 20:00 (16:00 and 19:00 GMT ) Sunday, according to the UN source in Bambari.

A convoy of Faca, en route to Bangassou (south-east) where the Central African army will be redeployed according to the UN , was caught in the fighting in Bambari.

The convoy was attacked by fighters from the armed group Union for Peace in the Central African Republic ( UPC ), according to a source of the Bambari gendarmerie at AFP , adding that several members of the group were killed during the fighting.

Seats of NGOs looted
Since early May, Bambari has been the scene of clashes. In mid-May, the UN claimed to have resumed “control of the city” after the UPC attacked several institutions – gendarmerie, police station, base of the Minusca.

The premises of nine NGOs and those of the National Refugee Commission ( CNR ) were looted in May in the city, according to the UN .

In the same month, nine people lost their lives in inter-community violence, including a local NGO member and a nurse-attendant at a health facility in the city.

Bambari, straddling several areas of influence of armed groups, enjoyed until then a relative calm since the intervention of the Minusca in early 2017 to dislodge the UPC that had made it its base.

Since then, the UN has made Bambari the showcase of its intervention in Central Africa, arguing that the city was “unarmed or armed group”.

In the Central African Republic, the state controls only a small part of the national territory. Armed groups clash in the provinces for control of resources, including diamonds, gold and livestock.

AFP