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Rebels’ reign of terror grip CAR, DRC

Story from: CAJ News Africa

congo rebelsFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – An escalation of violence blamed on the Lord’s
Resistance Army (LRA) and other armed groups has left over 30 people dead in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The violence has been severe in particularly in the eastern CAR prefectures of Mbomou, Haut Mbomou and Haute Kotto.
Armed groups, including the LRA, were responsible for at least 18 attacks on civilians there, killing 32 civilians and abducting 21 others.
The victims included 3 women, highlighting the risk armed groups pose to vulnerable groups.
The violence has been linked to escalating sectarian tensions involving
local “self-defense” militias, frequently referred to as anti-balaka and the ex-Seleka factions.
Seven of the civilians killed during the attack were first abducted and
used as porters before later being executed.
Members of the Peuhl minority community, who are frequently associated by other ethnic groups, were targeted during several attacks.
Recently members of a local “self-defense” militia attacked a group of
Peuhls near Fode, killing a woman and four-year-old child.
Another local militia killed four Peuhls along the Bangassou–Rafai axis
near Yongofongo.
Following such insecurity, large groups of Peuhls have reportedly been
displaced towards communities like Bangassou where they seek protection
and security provided by the United Nations peacekeeping mission in CAR (MINUSCA).
According to preliminary estimates, more than 25 000 people out of the 39 000 inhabitants of Bangassou will need a multilayered humanitarian
CAR is gripped by lawlessness since 2011 when François Bozizé Yangouvonda won a an election dismissed as fraudulent.
He was deposed in 2013.
CAJ News

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