United Nations peacekeepers in the Central African Republic (CAR) said Wednesday that the town of Bambari remains under their control, and has not been captured by armed groups as previously reported.
Vladimir Monteiro, a spokesman for the MINUSCA peacekeeping mission, said that some rebels attacked soldiers on Tuesday and began looting, but the peacekeepers were deployed around the city to repel any attacks. They’ve also done so in the communities of Bossembélé, Yaloké and Mbaiki.
MINUSCA representatives said the situation remains tense ahead of Sunday’s election, which has been marred by violence as former president François Bozizé and armed groups aligned against the CAR government have launched what some observers called a coup attempt.
Bozizé has denied any such attempt, which followed a constitutional court ruling that banned him from running for election against President Faustin-Archange Touadéra. Touadéra has been in office since 2016.
A group of international leaders, including the Russian ambassador to CAR, insist that Sunday’s election move forward, according to a joint statement issued earlier this week. Russia has since confirmed that it has military personnel in CAR, as does Rwanda.
The CAR remains volatile after years of fighting between Seleka and anti-balaka forces, and the armed groups that later emerged from the two opposing sides. That’s despite a peace deal negotiated in February 2019 between the rebel groups and the Touadéra government.
Image: MINUSCA file