20 killed in fresh clashes in Central African Republic

Bangui, Dec 31: At least 20 people were killed Tuesday morning here during an attack by anti-Balaka militia on the camp of ex-Seleka rebels, Xinhua reported quoting an official as saying.

Those killed include two fighters of the ex-rebels and over 15 from the camp of assailants.

“This (Tuesday) morning, anti-Balakas came to attack our camps in Pk 12 district. We repulsed them. On our side, we lost two fighters and three were injured, but on the enemy’s side, there were more than 15 deaths. Regarding their injuries, I cannot comment with certainty,” said Christian Narkoyo, a former spokesperson for Seleka rebels and the head of national gendarmerie.

The attack characterised by heavy gunshots provoked a wave of panic among Bangui residents being held hostage to persistent fighting between the two sides.

The fresh fighting reportedly occurred at around 4 a.m., Narkoyo said, added that calm was restored by 6 a.m.

He admitted that it is delicate for the operation by the International Support Mission for Central African Republic (MISCA) was to restore peace and security.

MISCA is mainly compose of African forces authorised to intervene by the UN Security Council. They are working with the French forces.

According to UN sources, since Dec 5, more than 1,000 people have been killed in Bangui in inter-ethnic clashes between the anti-Balaka militia and the ex-Seleka rebels.

IANS