UN: Armed group attacks UN peacekeepers in Central African Republic

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Central Africa Republic (MINUSCA) says its peacekeepers on patrol were attacked on Tuesday outside of Ippy in Ouaka prefecture in an ambush.

In a statement obtained by PANA late on Wednesday in New York, MINUSCA said during the exchange of fire with the FPRC’s (Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de Centrafrique) coalition, four peacekeepers were wounded. One peacekeeper was severely wounded.

It, however, said the attackers fled the scene after the incident.

It noted that two factions of the ex-Seleka armed group, namely the FPRC coalition and UPC Mouvement pour l’Unite et la Paix en Centrafrique, represent a threat for civilian populations and that UN peacekeepers will respond in case of violence.

The mission also said that the peacekeepers prevented a hostile crowd, including members of the FPRC, from entering a camp for internally displaced persons in Ippy, which is some 70 miles from the city of Bambari, earlier Tuesday.

"Some people in the crowd fired at peacekeepers, who returned fire, killing two FPRC members.

MINUSCA reiterated its resolve to use force to protect civilians in accordance with its mandate and called on all armed groups to immediately cease hostilities and to resolve any dispute through dialogue within the framework of the African Initiative for Peace and Reconciliation.

Meanwhile, the UPC leader, Ali Darassa, left Bambari on Tuesday following the mission’s calls for him to leave the town, the office said.

It further said that the mission has reinforced its police presence in Bambari to ensure peace and security.

Clashes between the mainly Muslim Seleka rebel coalition and anti-Balaka militia, which are mostly Christian, plunged the country of 4.5 million people into civil conflict in 2013.
-0- PANA AA/MA 23Feb2017

23 february 2017 05:33:03

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