Fresh rebel attack in CAR claims 3 lives

Fresh rebel attack in CAR claims 3 lives

Three people have been killed in an attack by militants in the south of the Central African Republic, security forces say.

“At least three people were killed and several more injured,” a police officer said on Sunday following an attack a day earlier by armed herdsmen and fighters in the town of Ngakobo.

The officer said the armed men were members of former rebel Seleka movement, adding that hundreds of local people had fled their homes for neighboring villages.

Residents said the situation was mostly calm Sunday, but added that militants were still in the vicinity of the town.

Ngakobo was a hotbed of violence in the Central African Republic between 2013 and 2015. About half a million people were displaced during a crisis which came after a Seleka-led alliance, a mainly Muslim movement, ousted President Francois Bozize, who was a Christian.

Incumbent President Faustin-Archange Touadera had warned earlier this month that his country is still “in danger” with “entire regions” occupied by armed groups.

CAR has seen a surge in the violence since mid-June. Clashes between livestock herders and local arable farmers in the northwest earlier this month prompted the United Nations to issue warnings about the deteriorating situation in the poor country. The UN said thousands of people had fled renewed violence to neighboring Chad and Cameroon.

Touadera, who came to power in February backed by 12,000-strong UN force, faces tough challenges including helping 415,000 people internally displaced inside the Central African Republic while rebuilding the army and disarming armed groups in the impoverished country of 4.5 million people.