Shooting between rebels, the Central African army leads to 11 civilians

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Fighting between rebels and soldiers in the northwest of the Central African Republic – despite a ceasefire in the country agreed to by both parties – left 11 unarmed civilians dead, the local prefect said on Tuesday.

Rebels “infiltrated the weekly Sunday market at around 10 a.m.” near Mann, a town about 600 kilometers (370 miles) northwest of Bangui, Dieudonné Yougaina, prefect of the city, told Agence France-Presse. ‘Ouham-Pende (AFP).

“The Central African forces intervened (…) and the exchange of fire left 11 dead, nine men and two women, as well as eight wounded,” he said.

Yougaina blamed elements of the 3R rebels (Return, Recovery, Rehabilitation). The 3Rs, which are mainly made up of fighters from the Fulani ethnic group, is one of the most powerful armed groups in the country.

At the end of December, they joined the rebel coalition which sought to overthrow President Faustin Archange Touadera and prevent his re-election.

Touadera declared on October 15 a unilateral ceasefire in the fight against the rebels to facilitate the opening of a national dialogue.

The main armed groups had said they would respect the truce.

On November 9, several opposition parties denounced a violation of the ceasefire by members of the 3R after an attack on a village in the north-west that left two dead and one civilian.

Ranked the second least developed country in the world by the United Nations, the Central African Republic was plunged into a bloody civil war after a coup in 2013.

The conflict has calmed down considerably over the past three years, although large swathes of territory remain outside the control of the central government.

A week before the presidential election on December 27, 2020, six of the most powerful armed groups that together held most of the country at the time formed the Coalition of Patriots for Change and launched an offensive to prevent Touadera from being re-elected. .

Government forces recaptured towns and much of two-thirds of the country that the rebels controlled, mainly thanks to Rwandan soldiers and the presence of hundreds of Russian mercenaries fighting alongside them.

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