When the year began, rebel fighters attacked and partially occupied a town in the Central African Republic. The rebels targeted a diamond-mining town in Bangassou, which lies in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The insurgent’s raid in CAR prompted the Central African Republic army soldiers to launch an offensive. The Army soldiers killed at least five rebels while two army soldiers got wounded in the fight in Bangassou.
Attack in Bangassou
Before the attack in Bangassou occurred, the Central African Republic was expecting the announcement of the presidential election results. Because of this, several governments and United Nations officials believed that the rebels acted under the direction of ex-president Francois Bozize. The former leader is known to support such attacks since his ousting from power in 2013.
Government officials stated that they believed Mr. Bangassou was behind the attacks because he was angry with the constitutional court’s rejection of his candidacy. Because the court made that decision, Mr. Bozize could not challenge president Faustin-Archange Touadera in the elections. And because it seemed that President Faustin would win the election, Mr. Bozize sought to cause electoral unrest, which could end in him seizing power.
U.N and government officials said Bozize aimed to overthrow the Republic institutions and end the democratic process with the attack. Most of Bozize’s party officials denied that the leader was working with the rebels. But a few in the group implied that they were acting together with the rebels.
Rebel Attack on the Central African Republic capital Bangui
Because the rebels were unsuccessful in their mission in Bangassou, they launched yet another attack days later. During the attack in Bangassou, the rebels did not manage to get into the Capital Bangui despite attacking towns close to the Capital. But in their next attack, the insurgents targeted Bangui on different fronts, including its northern neighborhoods.
The group attacked the Capital after President Faustin-Archabge Touadera won the elections. The opposition in CAR called for a re-run of the election due to alleged irregularities and insecurity, which prevented numerous people from voting. But all their efforts in achieving a re-run borne no fruits. Rebels, on the other hand, resulted in attacking towns. But the CAR army, backed by the Russian, Rwandan, French, and U.N forces, successfully managed to push back the attackers vigorously.
State of Emergency in CAR
But since the battles began, over 30,000 people have fled the Central African Republic. Furthermore, the conflict has caused food shortages and price rises in the Capital. Despite a peace agreement between the Central African Republic and 14 rebel groups, attacks persist in the nation. The armed groups fight to overthrow the newly re-elected President Faustin-Archange Touadera.
Because of this, Albert Yaloke Mokpeme, the spokesperson for the presidency, announced this week on national radio that the CAR had declared a 15-day state of emergency throughout the country. Mr. Albert said the state of emergency would apply until Feb 4 as the rebels were carrying out sporadic attacks in towns and on the RN3 highway. The highway forms a crucial supply line linking the CAR capital with neighboring Cameroon. And the rebel attacks have led to them acquiring control over two-thirds of the country’s territory, limiting the government’s control over anything.