CAR diamonds fights kill at least 21

2011-09-19 22:35

Bangui - At least 21 people have been killed in running gun clashes between two former rebel groups seeking control of a diamond-mining area in Central African Republic, sources told Reuters on Monday.

The fighting, which began early last week between members of the former rebel groups UFDR and CPJP in the town of Bria 600km from the capital Bangui, risks escalating into a broader tribal conflict with reports of fighters going house-to-house hunting ethnic rivals.

"This is all about a diamond mine located inside an area controlled by the UFDR, but which is now occupied by elements of the CPJP," Oumar Rodongo, who works for the mayor's office in Bria, told Reuters by telephone.

He said 21 people had been killed since the fighting broke out early last week, and many more had been wounded.

Residents said there were bodies by the roadsides in the Bornou neighbourhood of Bria, where ethnic Goula and Rounga live side by side. The UFDR is made up mostly of Goula, while the CPJP is mostly Rounga.

"Many dozens of people have left the town for the bush because [ethnic] Goula are going from house-to-house looking for Rounga men, who they beat without hesitation," Saleh Abedine, a trader in the town said.

Both former rebel groups have signed ceasefire agreements with the government after years of insurgency, but they remain armed.

"[The] CPJP has left its area in Bamingui Bangouran to come here and exploit the diamond mines. We can't let this happen," UFDR spokesperson Zakaria Damane told Reuters by telephone, confirming the fighting.

Residents said the clashes had intensified in recent days, with nine people killed on Sunday alone.

"There are bodies in the undergrowth around the Bornou area and many people have been admitted to the Bria hospital with injuries," said Joseph Ngouba, a student in Bria.

Instability in landlocked CAR, roughly the size of France, has discouraged major investment in its gold, uranium and diamond deposits.

President Francois Bozize took power in a 2003 coup and won a new mandate in January elections, the results of which were dismissed by opponents as fraudulent.


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.