Rebel attacks cause panic in CAR

2013-11-18 15:18
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Bangui - Panic swept through the capital of the Central African Republic on Monday after rebels from the Seleka coalition shot and killed a magistrate and his aide.

The rebels also attacked young men in Bangui's Sica and Benz-vi neighbourhoods who had set up barricades to protect their families after the two judicial officials were killed over the weekend.

"Seleka continues to kill civilians, and [Interim President Michel] Djotodia doesn't say a word to stop them. They have become extremists," one of the youths told dpa on condition of anonymity.

"The killings need to stop. We demand the urgent intervention of the international community," he added.

As the attacks continued, residents frantically left their workplaces and picked up their children from school to seek safety in their homes, according to witness reports.

CAR has been plunged into a humanitarian crisis since the Seleka coalition rose up against the government in December and overthrew president Francois Bozize in March.

The rebel coalition was officially disbanded in mid-September but has been refusing to disarm.

About 400 000 of CAR's 4.5 million people have been displaced and scores of civilians have been killed, especially in the country's north-west.


Interim President Djotodia has been struggling to restore law and order in the nation rich in gold and diamonds, despite the support of more than 3 500 African Union peacekeepers.

Cameroon placed its border posts with CAR on high alert Monday after Seleka rebels killed two citizens.

Several hundred heavily armed Seleka rebels had crossed from CAR into Cameroon on Saturday and attacked the border village of Gbiti, according to East region governor Dieudonne Ivaha Diboua.

"They wrecked our military bases, attacked and plundered storekeepers and residents. Our military responded strongly, and the situation is now under our control," he told dpa.

Five members of the Seleka coalition were killed as well.

One of the rebels has been arrested and is being questioned, said Cameroonian Defence Minister Edgard Mebe Ngo'o.

"The border remains open but security is strengthened with strict control of all those who pass," Diboua added.

Saturday's incident is the second cross-border attack in the last three months. In August, Seleka rebels killed a policeman in the village of Toktoyo in eastern Cameroon.

Read more on:    seleka  |  francois bozize  |  central african republic  |  central africa

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