| 1 March 2024, Friday |

Six soldiers killed in Central African Republic rebel attack

A local official and a hospital director said on Friday that rebels murdered at least six troops in an attack on a military base in southeast Central African Republic on Thursday, the latest recorded incident in a decade-long conflict.

A military barracks on the outskirts of Bakouma town was attacked early Thursday morning by members of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC), according to a local government official who did not want to be identified for security reasons.

Six soldiers and four rebels were killed, he said.

The attack was confirmed by the head of a hospital in the nearby city of Bangassou, also on condition of anonymity, where bodies and wounded soldiers were taken.

Mineral-rich Central African Republic has been mired in violence since a coalition of mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted then-president Francois Bozize in 2013, sparking reprisals from mostly Christian militias.

In recent years the army – backed by United Nations peacekeepers, Russian and Rwandan troops – has been battling CPC militants seeking to overturn the outcome of an election in December 2020 that saw President Faustin-Archange Touadera clinch a second term.

The U.N. has accused all parties of abuses including summary killings, torture, conflict-related sexual violence and the use of child fighters among others.

It has lost over 160 peacekeepers in a conflict that has displaced more than 1 million people.

A Special Criminal Court set up in 2015 to prosecute war crimes committed in the country kicked off its first trial last week.

  • Reuters