UN Confirms 25 Dead In Central African Republic Violence

UN Confirms 25 Dead In Central African Republic ViolenceThe two days of fighting in Central African Republic has led to the death of 25 persons.

The number of casualties was disclosed in a statement on Saturday by the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission.

“Clashes between elements of the anti-Balaka and ex-Seleka caused 15 deaths and a number of others wounded.

“Six gendarmes and four civilians lost their lives on Friday morning in an ambush on the Bambari-Grimari road,” the Minusca mission said.

The UN mission appealed to all armed groups to end “the cycle of attack and reprisal”.

The Central African Republic has been wracked by conflict along religious and ethnic lines since 2013.

Uganda Plans Withdrawal Of Troops In CAR

Ugandan-troops-in-CARUganda plans to withdraw troops involved in an operation to hunt down Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in Central African Republic by the end of 2016, a military spokesman said on Friday.

Uganda has 2,500 troops tracking the rebels, notorious for mutilating their victims and kidnapping children and their leader Joseph Kony.

According to Reuters, most of the soldiers are in the Central African Republic, though there is a small contingent in South Sudan.

Spokesman Paddy Ankunda said the withdrawal did not mean Uganda was ending the operation. But while he said the African Union (AU) favoured keeping the troops in place, he pointed out that Uganda had been discouraged by insufficient international support.

“Even when we have international indictments on some of the (LRA) characters, there seems to be no serious goodwill on the part of international actors or stakeholders to participate or contribute toward the ending of the LRA problem,” he said.

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for the arrest of Kony and other LRA commanders.

Ankunda said Uganda had not yet considered the AU request to maintain its troops in Central African Republic.

Although its ranks have dwindled to several hundred fighters, the group still launches attacks against civilians.

In April, an organisation tracking the LRA said more than 200 people had been kidnapped in eastern Central African Republic since January.

Burundi President Condemns Killing Of General

Pierre-NkurunzizaThe President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, has condemned the killing of a senior army officer shot along with his wife and bodyguard in an attack that also wounded their child.

The attack is the latest in an expanding wave of violence in the central African nation that heightened after Nkurunziza declared his interest in a third term in office.

A spokesman for the Army, Gaspard Baratuza, told reporters that Brigadier General Athanase Kararuza, who was a military adviser in the office of the vice president, was dropping his child off at a school in the capital Bujumbura on Monday when his car was attacked by rocket and gun fire.

Kararuza had previously worked as a deputy commander of an international peace force in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“He energetically fought against the coup plotters last year and exceptionally contributed in strengthening peace and security during and after elections,” Nkurunziza said in a statement late on Monday.

“We humbly pray that, with the help of God, perpetrators of the shameful acts are arrested and quickly punished according to the law.”

Reuters reports that tit-for-tat attacks between Nkurunziza’s security forces and his opponents have escalated since April 2015 when he announced a disputed bid for a third term as president. He won re-election in July.

The United Nations says more than 400 people have been killed and more than 250,000 have fled the country.

Burundi and neighbouring Rwanda, which both have an ethnic Hutu majority and Tutsi minority, have been torn apart by ethnic conflict in the past. Experts fear the recent violence during the political crisis in Burundi may reopen old ethnic wounds and risk causing civil war.

Police Kill Robbery Suspects, Recover Ransom In Adamawa

Adamawa PoliceMen of the Adamawa State Police Command have gunned down three suspected armed robbers who have been terrorising people in Mayo-Belwa LGA and Zuma in Hong Local government Area (LGA) of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Othman Abubakar, disclosed this to reporters at the Police Headquarters in Yola, the Adamawa State capital in northeast Nigeria.

He said that the nabbing of the robbers was as a result of the combined effort of the command and one popular Alhaji Ali Kwara, who assisted the Police in tracking the suspects.

Eight AK-47 rifles, one machine gun, 14 magazines and several rounds of ammunition were recovered from the robbers.

Also recovered from the armed robbery suspects were some Nigerian and foreign currency notes from Central African Republic.

In another development, the Police spokesman revealed that they were able to arrest a group of kidnappers who kidnapped three sons of one Alhaji Grema two weeks earlier in Mayo-Ranehu village of Hong LGA in Adamawa State.

He explained that the victim paid a ransom of one million Naira out of the two million Naira demanded by the kidnappers.

Abubakar added that the man was about giving the gang another 500,000 Naira when the Police intercepted and arrested the suspected criminals.

He said the 500,000 Naira was recovered and returned to Alhaji Germa while the suspects were kept in Police custody and would be charged to court soon.

Armed Men Kill 12 In Central African Republic

female studentsArmed men killed 12 people in villages in Central African Republic, local officials said on Sunday, in the first violence since Faustin-Archange Touadera was confirmed as president last Tuesday after an election many hoped would help end attacks.

The attacks took place near the central town of Bambari and were likely linked to livestock rustling or an inter-ethnic dispute involving the Peuhl, or Fulani ethnic group, the officials said.

The violence did not appear directly connected to the political, communal and religious killings involving militia groups that since 2013 have left thousands dead, forced many more to flee their homes and left the northern half of the country effectively partitioned.

In the latest attack late on Saturday, six people were killed in three different villages, the authorities said.

“Three women from the same family had their throats slit six kilometers (four miles) from the town,” Amassaka Topi, a local counselor and youth leader in Bambari told Reuters by telephone.

The constitutional court confirmed former mathematics professor Touadera’s victory on Tuesday following a run-off election on Feb. 14., setting the stage for him to be sworn in later on March 25.

Touadera has pledged to make peace and disarmament his priorities.

Bambari has seen numerous attacks in the last year despite the presence of U.N. peacekeepers. The United Nations designated it a weapons-free zone last September, but the former rebel group called the Seleka and the anti-Balaka militia retain an armed presence in the town.

The country suffered the worst crisis in its history in early 2013 when the mainly Muslim Seleka fighters toppled the then president. Christian so-called anti-Balaka militias responded by attacking the Muslim minority.

Voting Ends In Central African Republic

Central African RepublicVoting has closed in the Central African Republic (CAR) where the people have voted to elect a new president in a run-off contest between two former prime ministers.

But final results in the poll – seen as a step towards restoring peace – are not expected for several weeks.

The seizure of power by a mainly Muslim rebel group in 2013 led to prolonged bloodshed.

Candidates, Faustin Touadera and Anicet Dologuele have pledged to restore security and boost the economy.

The citizens also voted for a new parliament following the annulment of a poll in December due to irregularities.

Mr Dologuele served under President Ange-Felix Patasse between 1999 and 2001, and Mr Touadera was Prime Minister under President Francois Bozize between 2008 and 2013.

Central African Republic: Presidential Run-Off Election Begins

central-african-republicCitizens are going to the polls to vote for the second round of Presidential elections in the Central African Republic.

The vote in Central African Republic is seen as a significant step towards restoring peace, stability and democratic government in the country.

According to BBC, both presidential candidates, former Prime Ministers, Faustin Touadera and Anicet Dologuele, have promised to restore security and boost the economy.

Mr Dologuele served under President Ange-Felix Patasse between 1999 and 2001, and Mr Touadera was Prime Minister under President Francois Bozize between 2008 and 2013.

Central African Republic Ex-PM, Touadera Ahead After Election

Touadera ahead after CAR's electionFormer Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, Faustin Touadera, has taken a surprise lead in early results from the CAR’s presidential election.

30 candidates contested the poll, which is likely to go to a run-off between the top two on January 31, but Mr Touadera was not seen as a favourite.

He was a Prime Minister in the government of ex-president, Francois Bozize, ousted in 2013 by mainly Muslim Seleka rebels.

Voting took place on December 30, with UN troops guarding polling stations.

30 candidates vied to replace interim leader, Catherine Samba-Panza in the former French colony.

The CAR has been torn by sectarian violence since the Seleka rebels seized power in March 2013.

A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-Balaka, then took up arms against the Seleka.

CAR is one of the world’s poorest countries – yet it is rich in natural resources.

Elections also took place for the 149-seat National Assembly.

After seizing power, the Seleka rebels installed Michel Djotodia as the first Muslim leader of the majority Christian country.

But under pressure from regional leaders and former colonial power, France, Mr Djotodia stood down and was succeeded by Ms Samba-Panza.

Voting Starts In Central African Republic

central-african-republicVoters in the Central African Republic (CAR) are going to the polls to elect their next President and lawmakers who are expected to restore a stable government after years of violence.

Thirty presidential candidates are vying to replace interim leader, Catherine Samba-Panza.

United Nations (UN) peacekeepers hope to stop a repeat of the violence during a referendum on a new constitution.

The CAR has been torn by sectarian violence since the Muslim Seleka alliance seized power in March 2013.

A band of mostly Christian militias, called the anti-Balaka, then took up arms against the Seleka.

Pope Francis Meets With Muslims In CAR Capital, Bangui

Pope Francis Visits SardiniaPope Francis has visited a mosque in the capital of the Central African Republic, Bangui, where he met with Muslims who have sought shelter after nearly three years of violence between Christians and Muslims.

The Pope told worshippers in a mosque that “Christians and Muslims were brothers and sisters”.

Most Muslims had left the capital but 15,000 are left in an area called pk5 surrounded by armed Christian militia.

A “New Chapter”

The pope will conclude his visit to Africa with a final mass in Bangui. This is the pontiff’s first visit to a conflict zone and the final stop on his landmark three-nation African tour.

On Sunday, the Pope called on fighting factions in CAR to lay down their weapons.

Celebrating Mass in Bangui, he said they should instead, arm themselves “with justice, love, mercy and authentic peace”.

Pope Francis expressed hope that the January elections in the Central African Republic would open a “new chapter” for the country.

CAR has been torn apart by violence between Muslim rebels and mainly Christian militias.

It is the pontiff’s first visit to a conflict zone and the final stop on his landmark three-nation African tour.

In an address at the presidential palace, he called for unity and urged them to avoid “the temptation of fear of others, of the unfamiliar, of what is not part of our ethnic group, our political views or our religious confession”.

Conflict  blighted the CAR for decades but it was only in 2013 that the fighting took on a religious form.

Pope Francis Anticipates Peaceful Elections In CAR

Pope Francis Anticipates Peaceful Elections In CARPope Francis has expressed hope that the January elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) would open a “new chapter” for the country.

The Pope was speaking after arriving the nation’s capital, Bangui, which was the his first visit to a conflict zone.

CAR has been torn apart by violence between Muslim rebels and Christian militias.

In an address at the Presidential Palace, Pope Francis called for unity and admonished citizens to avoid the ethnic, religious and political hostility.

Acting President, Catherine Samba-Panza, asked the Holy Father for forgiveness for the country’s recent religious violence.

During the visit, the pontiff would celebrate mass in Bangui, but is also expected to meet Muslim leaders and visit a mosque in the city’s Muslim enclave known as PK5.

Central African Republic Capital Under Lockdown After Clashes

central african republicThe capital of the Central African Republic (C.A.R) is under a night-time curfew, after days of intense fighting between Christian and Muslim groups.

Fierce clashes between the two groups erupted after the killing of a Muslim taxi driver in Bangui on Saturday.

At least 36 people have died in the violence, and the United Nations (UN) says it has forced nearly 30,000 people to flee.

A UN spokesman said the country may be returning to a state of unseen violence since conflict erupted two years ago.

“We fear that the violence we’re seeing in Bangui is a return to the dark days of late 2013 and 2014, when thousands were killed and tens of thousands had to flee their homes,” Leo Hobbs said.

The Central African Republic has been wracked by violence since a mainly Muslim rebel group, Seleka, seized power in march 2013.

The Seleka group was then ousted, sparking a wave of violent reprisals against the Muslim population, thousands of whom fled their homes.

Interior Minister, Modibo Bachir Walidou, told BBC that the government remained in control, but the situation remained volatile.

Interim President, Catherine Samba Panza, returned from the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, telling the BBC that elections postponed for October would now be canceled.

She accused ‘former dignitaries’ of fomenting violence, singling out former President Francois Bozize.

Mr Bozize has criticised the decision to Barr him from standing for election, saying: “democracy was murdered in front of everyone in the Central African Republic.”