Clashes in CAR kill up to 10
09 September 2013, 17:30
Bangui – At least 10 people were killed when troops of the
new regime in the Central African Republic battled fighters claiming loyalty to
toppled president Francois Bozize, an army source said on Monday.
The fighting broke out soon after 11:00 on Sunday on the
northern edge of the town of Bossangoa "where heavy and light arms fire
was heard ... between elements of [the ruling] Seleka and men claiming
allegiance to the former president," the source told AFP, asking not to be
Bossangoa in the northwest is the main town of the Ouham
district where General Bozize was born. Former rebels of the Seleka coalition
ended Bozize's 10-year rule on March 24 and their leader, Michel Djotodia, then
became head of state.
The military source said that during the clashes, up to 10
people lost their lives, "including two local workers of the humanitarian
NGO ACTED, killed by Seleka fighters".
"Residents fled to take refuge in the archbishop's
residence and in the bush... The town market has remained closed, as well as
the shops. Motorbike taxis are not in circulation," he added.
Last week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported
that thousands of people had been displaced and at least eight villages razed
to the ground during recent violence in the north of the CAR, which has long
been lawless territory outside the towns.
Since Seleka seized power, the security situation has
remained chaotic in the very poor, landlocked country and President Djotodia's
regime faces a major challenge in restoring order and disarming ex-combatants,
despite the presence of a regional military peacekeeping force in the capital
The CAR has been chronically unstable since independence
from France in 1960, plagued by coups, rebellions, army mutinies and prolonged
strikes by civilians. The unrest has prevented the exploitation of resources
such as uranium, gold, diamonds and oil