First Published: 2017-05-15

Moroccan soldier injured in fresh attack in C.Africa
MINUSCA says overnight assault on UN base in Bangassou was staged by mainly Christian anti-Balaka group.
Middle East Online

MINUSCA deployed 10,000 troops and 2,000 police to the CAR

BANGASSOU - A Moroccan peacekeeper was injured early Sunday in a fresh attack on a UN base in the deeply troubled Central African Republic, after a compatriot died in another night raid.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed "outrage" and called on the authorities "to investigate the attacks in order to swiftly bring those responsible to justice".

The overnight assault on the camp in the southeastern city of Bangassou, which is near the Democratic Republic of Congo, was staged by the mainly Christian anti-Balaka group, the UN mission in the country (MINUSCA) said.

"The MINUSCA base was targeted by gunfire at night and the soldiers returned fire," a statement in French said.

"One of them was wounded. His life is not in danger," the UN mission, which is known by its French acronym, said, identifying him as a Moroccan soldier.

Early Saturday, another Moroccan soldier died in a similar attack on the base and a nearby Muslim-dominated area.

MINUSCA said the assailants were members of a wide coalition including the anti-Balaka group who "attacked civilian populations, targeting in particular Muslims", another sign of the violence between Muslims and Christians that has ravaged the country.

Medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres said: "In the span of a few hours, MSF has treated 21 wounded people at the hospital in Bangassou."

"We call on all the parties... to start a ceasefire and to allow us access to the wounded," a statement said.

On Monday, another Moroccan and four Cambodian soldiers were also killed in an attack on their convoy near Bangassou.

MINUSCA deployed 10,000 troops and 2,000 police to the CAR following bloody sectarian fighting that erupted after the 2013 overthrow of leader Francois Bozize.

Among Africa's poorest countries, the CAR descended into bloodshed pitting the anti-Balaka fighters against the mainly Muslim ex-Seleka rebels.

While calm has been restored to the capital Bangui, parts of the country remain under the sway of armed groups.

Guterres said on Sunday that "the recent incidents amply demonstrate that the situation in the Central African Republic is still fragile".

 

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