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16 May 2017, 09:34 | Clarence Schmidt
UN Chief Outraged By Latest Attacks In CAR
The attacks throughout the weekend on the town of Bangassou on the Congolese border have involved hundreds of fighters with heavy weaponry and appeared to be aimed at Muslims, they said, in the latest sign that the multi-year conflict is worsening.
This prompted MINUSCA to promptly deploy extra troops to fend off further attacks with Verhoosel reporting that the town had been partly secured early Sunday evening.
Peacekeepers reported sporadic gunfire late Sunday, but on Monday the situation had calmed, according to United Nations mission spokesman Herve Verhoosel.
Asked about the civilian death toll, he added, "It is clear that we are looking at numbers that could easily reach 20 to 30". He said child soldiers, who appear to be drugged, are among the assailants.
"The situation is extremely deplorable and we are doing everything to rapidly retake control of Bangassou", MINUSCA chief Parfait Onanga-Anyanga told the media in an interview. In the same vein, he urged Central African Republic authorities to investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators before justice. MINUSCA recalls that acts of violence on ethnic or religious grounds may constitute crimes under global law subject to prosecution in domestic or worldwide courts. "His life is not in danger", the United Nations mission, which is known by its French acronym, said, identifying him as a Moroccan soldier.
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CAR President Faustin Touadera said Sunday he intends to go to Bangassou to give his "support to the wounded population".
In recent months, roaming militias spurred by ethnic and religious rivalries have stepped up violence despite pledges to take part in a government-led disarmament programme. It said while they couldn't determine if the rebels had yet left, they had agreed to do so.
"These recent incidents amply demonstrate that the situation in the Central African Republic is still fragile hence the need for continued and sustained regional and global support to overcome the challenges at hand", Guterres said.
"The MINUSCA base was targeted by gunfire at night and the soldiers returned fire", a statement in French said.
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