Rebel Fighters Attack and Enter Town in Central Africa

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This week rebel fighters attacked and partially occupied a town in the Central African Republic. The rebels targeted a diamond-mining town in Bangassou, which lies on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rebel Fighters attack Town

The attack prompted the Central African Republic army soldiers to launch an offensive. At least five rebels were killed in the offensive while two army soldiers got wounded in the fight in Bangassou.

Before the attack in Bangassou occurred, the central African Republic was expecting the announcement of the results of the presidential election. Because of this, several government and United Nations officials believe that the rebels are backed by ex-president Fracois Bozize. These officials accuse Bozize of being at the forefront of the electoral unrest as the constitutional court rejected his candidacy to challenge president Faustin-Archange Touadera. U.N and government officials say Bozize aimed to overthrow the institutions of the Republic and end the democratic process with the attack.

Former President Bozize

Former President Bozize took power in a coup he led in 2003. The former leader ruled from 2003 to 2013. In 2013 predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted Bozize from power after long claiming marginalization. Bozizie did not take the seizing of power lightly and greatly supported mostly Christian militias fighting against the Seleka.

The anti-Balaka groups (Christian militias) ruthlessly attacked Muslims across the Central African Republic in their mission to resist the Seleka rule. The groups beat Muslims to death and burnt down mosques, and forced tens of thousands from the capital. Their actions lead to the sparking of a deadly inter-religious and inter-communal war in the country in 2013.

Because Bozize actively participated in supporting the anti-Balaka groups, he faces an international arrest warrant for crimes against humanity and incitement of genocide. The former leader also faces sanctions for allegedly ordering assassinations and torture while President. Bozize has denied all these charges put against him. But because the charges still exist, the Constitutional Court in CAR declined the candidature of Bozize because he did not meet the good morality requirement.

Bozize`s Latests Attacks on Bangassou

Since his ousting from power in 2013, Bozize continues to cause and support chaos in the Central African Republic. The recent attack in Bangassou was his latest effort in getting back into power. Most of Bozize`s party officials have denied that the leader is working with the rebels. But a few in the group have implied that they are acting together with the rebels.

The rebels sent in by Bozize attacked Bangassou at around 5:30 a.m. Officers tried to contain the rebels but the rebels outmatched them and they had to seek reinforcements from the army. The fighting continued up to around 10:00 a.m., and several people lost their lives. The attack in Bangassou kept more than 14% of polling stations in the area closed on election day. Many civilians fled the hostilities into neighboring Congo while numerous others drowned in the river.

Despite a peace agreement between the Central African Republic and 14 rebel groups, attacks persist in the nation.

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