UN says a Moroccan peacekeeper was killed in renewed attacks by Christian militias in Central African Republic (CAR) in the town of Bangassou.
Officials said the incident, including one on Sunday, came after attacks on the same diamond-mining town in May that killed at least 115 people and point to the inability of UN peacekeepers to contain violence in a country where government control barely extends outside the capital.
“The attack took place as the peacekeepers from the Moroccan contingent were escorting water trucks filling up in the river in order to meet the humanitarian needs of the town,” Vladimir Monteiro, spokesman for the 13,000-strong UN mission in CAR, said of the Sunday incident.
Three others were injured, he added, in an attack he attributed to anti-balaka fighters drawn from the country’s Christian majority.
Fighters from the same group launched a foiled attack on Friday on the town’s cathedral that is housing hundreds of displaced Muslims who have been sheltering there since the May killings, Monteiro said.
Like some 500,000 others displaced in the country, many of those inside the cathedral have nowhere to return to since their homes were destroyed in the May killings.
Thousands have died in the ethnic and religious conflict that broke out when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted President Francois Bozize in 2013, provoking a backlash from Christian anti-balaka militias.
The latest incidents this weekend have prompted some 14 humanitarian organisations to suspend their activities in the town, 700 km east of Bangui on the Congolese border, a spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told Reuters.
An official at French medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres, which operates the local hospital, confirmed fresh shootings on Sunday.
She said the charity remained present.
Violence has escalated since former colonial power France ended its peacekeeping mission in the country in 2016 that once had as many as 2,000 soldiers.
It continues in spite of a peace deal signed between the government and rival factions in Rome in June. (Reuters/NAN)
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...