#VOA. | La Minusca says it has taken over a Central African city

The Minusca, whose official evokes two rebels killed, claims to have acted on Sunday under its mandate to “protect civilians” in this town of Ouanda-Djallé, more than 800 km northeast of Bangui.

But the rebellion of the Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC) in return accused the UN force of “fighting alongside Wagner’s Russian mercenaries and militias allied to the Central African forces”, violating according to it its “obligation of neutrality”.

CPC fighters seized Ouanda-Djallé on June 16, causing a large part of its approximately 7,000 inhabitants to flee into the surrounding forests, according to several deputies from the region close to the power of President Faustin Archange Touadéra.

“In accordance with its mandate to protect civilian populations (…) Minusca launched a military operation on (Sunday) June 26,” the UN mission announced in a statement on Wednesday. A few days earlier, Minusca spokespersons had announced that a contingent of Rwandan and Zambian soldiers had arrived in the town and had tried in vain to negotiate with the CPC the withdrawal of its fighters.

The blue helmets “engaged in energetic actions” with ground troops and helicopters, and “the armed elements were forced to withdraw from the locality”, assures Minusca on Wednesday. A senior Minusca official told AFP on condition of anonymity that two rebels had been “deadly hit”.

On Tuesday, the CPC was offended in a statement by the “immoral collusion between Minusca and Wagner’s Russian mercenaries” and Central African forces.

No independent source allows at this stage to know if the Central African soldiers and the Russian paramilitaries who support them are or are not present in Ouanda-Djallé.

The Central African Republic is the second least developed country in the world according to the UN, theater since 2013 of a civil war, very deadly in its first years but which has decreased in intensity since 2018.

At the end of 2020, the most powerful of the many armed groups which then shared two-thirds of the territory had joined forces within the CPC and had launched an offensive on Bangui to overthrow President Touadéra, who had called on Moscow to the rescue of his helpless army.

Hundreds of Russian paramilitaries – “mercenaries” from the private security company Wagner according to the UN – had then joined a few hundred others already present since 2018 and enabled the repression of armed groups from a large part of the territories. that they controlled.

The UN regularly accuses Russians, Central African soldiers and rebels of committing crimes and abuses against civilians.

Source: VOA-AFP.

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