According to the United Nations, rebels in the Central African Republic launched the closest attack to the capital, Bangui, before being pushed back by the loss of peacekeepers.
Recent attacks occur after rebels have launched an offensive pledge to march in the capital prior to last month’s presidential election, which the government calls an attempted coup.
In New York, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council strongly condemned the attack on Wednesday, calling for “all parties to end violence and engage in constructive dialogue.”
The statement followed a private Security Council meeting on the status of CAR at the request of France, a former colonial ruler.
The UN MINUSCA peacekeeping mission said the attack on Wednesday was “repelled by a blue helmet with the Central African army,” adding that Rwandan peacekeeping forces were killed.
UN Army spokesman Abdoulaziz Fall said the attack occurred at MINUSCA, 12 km (7 miles) from the center of Bangui.
“Several rebels have been captured and more than 10 have been killed,” he told AFP.
Earlier, Interior Minister Henri Wanzette Ringisara said armed groups opposed to President Faustin-Archanget Tuadera launched two simultaneous raids on the outskirts of Bangui at dawn.
The attack took place 9 and 12 kilometers from the capital, targeting two army brigades, the minister said.
“Thanks to the courage and bilateral support of our army, we were able to repel the perpetrators who are currently in turmoil,” he said.
A heavily armed Rwandan army and a Russian paramilitary organization were deployed last month to strengthen the Tuadera administration under a bilateral agreement.
Market traders in the area, known as PK12 at a distance from Bangui, closed their stalls and several armored vehicles were sent along with numerous Russian paramilitary organizations, government forces, and UN soldiers.
Scattered firings continued late into the afternoon, and aid workers said helicopters were attacking rebels trapped in the hills.
Many locals fled to Bangui with their suitcases and bags.
“I’m afraid,” said the man who named him Wraith. “I don’t know where my family is”
In the capital itself, the streets were unmanned, apart from the military presence, as AFP reporters saw.
MINUSCA has strengthened security in and around Bangui, and the government has set a curfew that begins two hours before January 7 at 6 pm and ends at 5 am as before.
An anti-Tuadera alliance of six armed groups, called the Patriots Union, tried to move forward in Bangui for the December 27 elections, but was blocked.
According to Tuadella, their operation was an attempted coup instigated with the help of their predecessor François Bozize. Bozize denies this.
On January 4, Tuadera was declared the winner of the vote, despite political opposition from CAR screaming fouls.
Results account for only about half of registered voters, as hundreds of thousands were unable to vote in rebel-owned areas.
The militia, which claims to represent an ethnic group or other group, controls two-thirds of CAR’s territory, raising income from mineral resources and “taxes” on traders and obstacles.
Until Wednesday, rebels were launching sporadic attacks on towns far from the capital and on the RN3 highway, an important supply line connecting Bangui and neighboring Cameroon.
Some analysts have suggested that recent assaults may indicate a change in tactics.
“What the rebels understand is that the international community is assessing the CAR crisis about what is happening in Bangui,” said Roland Marshall, an expert at Sciences Po’s Center for International Studies. That’s it. “
“This is why they are attacking the immediate suburbs of Bangui. Instead of robbing the strongly defended Bangui, it shows that Tuadera no longer controls or has little control. I will. “
Thierry Berkron, a think tank at the French Institute for International Relations, said rebels are waging a “nerve war.”
“They can fight against urban guerrillas and hope to get Bangui in the long run.”
CAR prosecutors began investigating Bozize, who came to power in a coup in 2003, before capsizing in 2013. After that, the country fell into a conflict between denominations.
Thousands of people have died and more than a quarter of the 4.9 million population has been displaced. Of these, 675,000 are refugees from neighboring countries.
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